The Buffalo region of New York has a variety of financial assistance programs available to help low-income seniors afford expenses such as buying groceries and paying their heating and utility bills. Resources include federally funded programs as well as state government assistance along with local services available at senior community centers.
The federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, helps low-income seniors afford food and groceries so they can avoid hunger and stay healthy. The Erie County Department of Social Services administers the SNAP program to Buffalo seniors seeking assistance.
Meals on Wheels of Western New York delivers two nutritious daily Monday – Friday including a hot lunch plus a cold supper with their Meals Express program. Low-income seniors that are determined to be “most vulnerable” can receive home delivered meals seven days per week. A full listing of food pantries for the Buffalo region is available on FoodPantries.org.
Erie County Senior Services administers the Stay Fit Dining Program that provides older adults age 60 and above with a healthy delicious hot lunch on weekdays. Seniors that have pets can sign up for the Animeals program to get free food for their dogs or cats delivered to their homes on a monthly basis.
The site of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a variety of resources and tools to help seniors find affordable housing in the Buffalo area. Options include information about federal housing programs for seniors, public housing, Section 8 housing choice vouchers, and rural rental help. HUD’s “affordable apartment search” lists multiple units for the elderly in Buffalo.
The Erie County Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) provides Buffalo seniors with financial support to help them cover the costs of their heating and electric utilities. The program also offers benefits to cover the expenses of furnace repairs, cooling assistance during the warmer summer months and weatherization referral.
New York State’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps seniors reduce heating and cooling costs by making their homes more energy efficient. Benefits include having an energy audit assessment conducted by a provider to evaluate necessary measures such as insulation or window and door placement or repair.
Older adults that live in the Buffalo area can enjoy a wide variety of community services, programs, and activities. The Northwest Buffalo Community Center sponsors a selection of group recreational activities such as Bingo and day trips and has an onsite exercise room. Seniors have the opportunity to enjoy a good cup of coffee and socialize with other seniors.
Erie County Senior Services of New York offers transportation services for older adults. Rides are available for “health related” appointments and trips, grocery shopping or Stay Fit Dining Sites, and “personal business” activities such as trips to the bank or to get legal assistance. Transportation services are also provided by the Northwest Buffalo Community Center.
The Valley Community Association in Buffalo has a Senior Citizen Program that enables older adults to stay connected and active by engaging in a variety of social activities. Options include the opportunity to take day trips, get fit with low-impact aerobics, enjoy card games and play Bingo or participate in recreational activities. Hot lunches are served on weekdays and transportation services are available.
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