Updates North Jersey Retirees, Seniors on COVID-19 Resources, Relief
On Thursday, May 28, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) participated in a Telephone Town Hall hosted by AARP to answer questions on federal action to protect residents in New Jersey nursing homes and long-term care facilities, increased investment for SNAP and senior food and nutrition programs, direct relief funds, and federal coronavirus resources for North Jersey.
“I want to thank AARP, their 118,000 members in the Fifth District, and everyone who joined today’s telephone town hall for their questions and comments as we continue combating this pandemic and its impacts on North Jersey,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) today. “To everyone joining this town hall today, you have raised your families here, grown your businesses here, you continue to do so much for our communities, churches, and temples, and you have paid your fair share of property, state, and local taxes. You have given so much to our country. I will always have your backs, and I will always fight to ensure you have the benefits, care, and protection you need.”
“We’re honored Congressman Gottheimer was able to join our Telephone Town Hall and connect with New Jerseyans for an informative discussion on the coronavirus in our state,” said Evelyn Liebman, AARP New Jersey’s Director of Advocacy. “We’re pleased the Congressman could share insight on the next coronavirus relief package and resources for residents. We applaud the work Congressman Gottheimer is doing to pass bipartisan legislation to address this unprecedented public health and economic crisis.”
In the bipartisan CARES Act, which was signed into law, Congress secured $850 million in emergency investment for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to help food banks facing increased utilization and demand in countless communities across the country. This includes strengthened nutrition security initiatives, including SNAP for seniors’ nutrition.
This legislation also included additional investment for food banks to provide meals to seniors who are homebound through programs like Meals on Wheels.
Gottheimer also highlighted several key pieces of bipartisan legislation he’s recently helped introduce to help Fifth District retirees and seniors through this crisis:
- The State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Fund — which will provide $500 billion in emergency funding to every state, county and community in the country, while prioritizing assistance to the areas with the greatest need.
- The Sending Outside Support Act of 2020 (SOS Act) — which will create strike teams of clinical and non-clinical staff to provide immediate support to nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and skilled nursing facilities experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 in North Jersey and across the country
- The Nursing Home Pandemic Protection Act of 2020 — which will require that nursing homes report communicable diseases, infections, and potential outbreaks to the CDC; that residents and their families be kept informed of infections inside the facilities; that facilities have a crisis plan in place to manage an outbreak; and that facilities maintain a stockpile of PPE.