December 17, 2015 – Meals on Wheels America, the largest and oldest national organization representing the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country, supports passage of H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, and urges Members of Congress to do the same. This legislation would provide an additional $20+ million for Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs, among other valuable provisions, to ensure that more of our nation’s most vulnerable seniors receive the nutritious meals, friendly visits and wellness checks they need to live more safely, healthfully and independently at home.
The reality is that there are 9.6 million seniors struggling with hunger in America, representing an increase of 56 percent since the start of the recession in 2007. Declining federal funding through the Older Americans Act (OAA), cuts in state and local grants, stagnant private funding and rising food, transportation and operational costs all have led to a growing gap between those served and those in need. With the senior population set to double by 2050, the time to bolster our country’s senior nutrition programs (congregate and home-delivered) is now, and the increased funding provided in H.R. 2029 is an essential down payment to reduce the thousands of seniors who are currently on waiting lists to receive Meals on Wheels.
Meals on Wheels’ commitment to providing seniors with the proper nutrition necessary for healthy living not only improves the health and quality of life for seniors, but is a proven essential to the nation at large as a preventative measure for considerably reducing Medicaid and Medicare expenditures.
Again, we commend the House and Senate Appropriations Committees for their leadership, as well as their staffs, whose tireless efforts led to this bipartisan compromise bill. While H.R. 2029 is far from perfect, we ask Congress to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act without delay for the health, safety and wellbeing of our nation’s most vulnerable seniors.
Meals on Wheels America