OCEAN TOWNSHIP, NJ – Senator Vin Gopal joined Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey in announcing a $25,000 award from the New Jersey Meals On Wheels program to Interfaith Neighbors, an Asbury Park nonprofit that operates the Monmouth County Senior Nutrition/Meals on Wheels program.

“For many older people living alone, the daily meal that Interfaith Neighbors volunteers bring to their door is the only hot, nutritious meal they will eat that day. The visit with a Senior Meals on Wheels volunteer also gives them a chance to socialize and helps maintain their good spirits as well as their health,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch).

The Monmouth County Senior Nutrition/Meals on Wheels program, operated by Interfaith Neighbors in collaboration with the Monmouth County Office on Aging, means so much more than simply a nutritious meal, said Interfaith Neighbors Executive Director Paul L. McEvily. Each day, approximately 125 volunteers deliver or serve more than 1,100 meals to senior citizen neighbors across Monmouth County. These meals help seniors live independently in their own homes.

“The daily contact with a volunteer often leads to caring friendships, reducing loneliness and isolation,” McEvily said. “With an aging population, the importance of this program continues to grow as more of our senior citizens come to rely on it. We are especially grateful for Assemblyman Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Downey, and Senator Gopal’s support for the program and for his support of senior citizens throughout the county.”

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

“In addition to being a source of nutrition, a visit from a Meals on Wheels volunteer helps battle the loneliness and isolation that many older people face every day,” said Downey (D-Freehold). “As we age, many of us are alone more often than when we were younger. The National Institute on Aging notes that studies have linked social isolation and loneliness to health problems such as cognitive decline, depression, and heart disease.”

“Interfaith Neighbors is a safety net for many people throughout Monmouth County,” said Houghtaling (D-Neptune). “By providing basic necessities such as a healthy meal, Interfaith Neighbors is improving the quality of life for families and communities.”

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...