Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stimulus money released to aid Minnesota seniors

The following article was published on the KARE-11 website.

WASHINGTON - Many Minnesota seniors should benefit from the latest rollout of federal economic stimulus money, which includes more than $1.5 million for nutrition programs in the state.

Vice President Joe Biden announced the funding Wednesday on the eve of his visit to St. Cloud to preside over a town hall meeting by the Middle Class Task Force.

The money is part of $100 million that the Department of Health and Human Services is handing out for nutrition services at senior centers and community centers, home delivered meals to seniors and Native American nutrition programs.

"Today, more senior citizens are in need, but the programs they depend on are on the brink of reducing their services or closing down," Biden said in a statement. "The Recovery Act will help ensure older Americans are not forced to choose between paying bills and buying food."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, applauded the funding. She said it will bolster the Meals on Wheels program, which is important to seniors hard hit by the recession. "Shrinking budgets and rising transportation costs are making it hard for seniors to get the nutritious meals they need," Klobuchar said. "These funds will help our senior citizens by preventing drastic cuts to essential programs."

By Marie Nelson

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