August 16, 2006

Legislator Ford Approves $200,000 for New Vehicles for Department of Senior Affairs

Legislator Denise Ford

In the 2006 budget, Legislator Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) along with the rest of the Nassau County Legislature approved $200,000 for vehicles for the Department of Senior Citizen Affairs nutrition programs. Today, the Nassau lawmaker, joined by Commissioner Sharon Mullon and the Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs, are pleased to announce that the money has been used to purchase four brand new vehicles and related program enhancements.

"These four new vehicles are crucial additions to our Department of Senior Citizen Affairs and its many wonderful programs," said Legislator Ford. "Our Meals on Wheels program is invaluable to our homebound seniors and it is very important that the meals they receive are the correct temperatures. It is also essential that our seniors can travel in vehicles that are comfortable and safe. I am very pleased that we were able to secure the funds to purchase the wonderful replacement vehicles."

Commissioner Mullon said "The Department is very appreciative of our legislators' continued responsiveness to the needs of our elder residents, particularly those who are most frail and vulnerable."

Two of the vehicles are new vans which will be added to the department's Meals on Wheels fleet. Meals on Wheels is a program that delivers nutritious meals including a hot lunch and a cold sandwich supper meal to homebound seniors. The first van is a "hot shot" van which is specially equipped with temperature controlled sections that keep hot foods hot, cold foods cold, and frozen foods frozen.

The second Meals on Wheels vehicle is a regular van which will be equipped with standard food containers, coolers, carriers, hot packs, cold packs and special hot tiles that keep the meals at the appropriate temperatures. The two vehicles replaced two very old vans that had high mileage and required too many repairs to keep them running. The Meals on Wheels vehicles often deal with a lot of "stop and go" driving which takes a heavy toll on a vehicle.

The Department of Senior Affairs also purchased new buses for two of their senior centers. The new buses are safe and comfortable for the seniors to travel in and replace buses which had very high mileage and required many costly repairs.

Pictured from left standing in front of the Senior Citizen Affairs Van are Sharon Mullon, Commissioner of the Department of Senior Citizen Affairs; Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford; Lance Elder, CEO of EAC Inc., and Carol O'Neill, EAC.