JERSEY CITY -- In honor of Older Americans Month, Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Department of Health and Human Services are announcing the Office of Senior Affairs new summer programming, which includes Zumba and Light Fitness classes to complement the City’s already-expanded recreation programming for seniors. With seniors making up almost 15 percent of the city's population, Senior Affairs is also renewing the extremely popular Farmer’s Market food voucher program which provides low-income seniors with certificates to spend on locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
“It’s important that we recognize the great contributions of Jersey City’s seniors to the history and heritage of Jersey City as they have made this city what it is today,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “Supporting our seniors through programming, education, and other tools will ensure that they have as many opportunities as possible to stay active, healthy and involved.”
In addition to the new fitness classes and renewed voucher program, as the weather gets warmer the City will be ramping up the off-site trips offered to seniors, including to shopping markets and other cultural activities.
In 2015, the administration announced the addition of two new buses to the senior affairs fleet, providing more ways for seniors to participate in city-sponsored shopping trips, movie outings, and other recreational activities. Furthermore, the City also provided each group with one bus a month to go on their own outings, to places including museums, restaurants, flea markets, sporting events, etc. Last year, the City bused more than 300 seniors down to Belmar to participate in the second annual Belmar Day at the Jersey Shore. In 2015 alone, the City took more than 10,000 seniors on a total of 6,000 trips.
In addition to the Farmer’s Market vouchers, the Fulop administration has made senior nutrition and access to healthy food options a priority in other ways as well. The City has provided more than 50,000 hot lunches at senior centers across the city and served 220,000 meals to homebound seniors. And, thanks to a grant from the Hudson County Office on Aging, HHS has a Nutrition Education program at all lunch sites in Jersey City.
Finally, the Fulop administration has worked to help seniors prepare for emergencies, launching a new program to train seniors to act as emergency responders within their own building. The City has also trained over 100 seniors on emergency preparedness and provided 500 Emergency Meals in case of a disaster. And last winter Jersey City launched the JC Shovels program, which activated 100 volunteers to help dig out 200 seniors all over the city after snowstorms. - Jennifer Morrill, Press Secretary to Mayor Steven M. Fulop