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ADVOCACY AGENDA

    FIGHTING FOR THE NEEDS OF OUR SENIORS

    Meals on Wheels America is engaged in ongoing advocacy initiatives and activities aimed at helping our local programs meet the needs of their communities. To that end, we work to build support on Capitol Hill and within the Administration to advance legislation and policies that strengthen home-delivered and group setting (congregate) programs, the volunteers who make them happen and the seniors they serve.

    Ultimately, we’re fighting to ensure that local communities are able to meet the growing number of seniors who need the support that enables them to live more nourished lives with the independence and dignity they deserve.

    KEY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES WE'RE FIGHTING FOR

    ENDING SEQUESTRATION & SUSTAINING FEDERAL FUNDING FOR OLDER AMERICANS ACT NUTRITION PROGRAMS 

    Federal funding has failed to keep pace with the escalating growth in the senior population and need for nutritious meals. This problem is exacerbated by significant increases in food and transportation costs and the impact of the economic downturn. Meals on Wheels programs were hit hard in 2013 by the unnecessary and automatic, across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. Unless Congress acts this year, the full force of these cuts will return again in 2016, leading to increased waiting lists, reduced delivery days, layoffs, fewer meals and, in some cases, closing programs entirely.


    PROTECTING & STRENGTHENING THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT 

    The Older Americans Act (OAA) has been the primary federal legislation supporting nutrition, social and preventative services for Americans 60 and older since 1965. OAA programs, including home-delivered and group setting (congregate) meals are vital for seniors who are at significant risk of hunger or losing their ability to live independently. In 2014, the OAA supported the provision of nearly 218 million meals that were delivered to more than 2.4 million seniors nationwide.


    SUPPORTING PROPOSALS TO MODIFY THE TAX CODE & INCREASE CHARITABLE DONATIONS  

    Meals on Wheels programs - whether home-delivered or in congregate settings - could not operate without the generous charitable donations of volunteers. Whether donations take the form of donated goods and services, money or volunteering mileage and one’s own vehicle to deliver meals, we favor modifications to the tax code that can help encourage and increase the charitable donations our programs rely on to serve seniors in need.


    IMPROVING ACCESS TO OTHER FEDERAL NUTRITION PROGRAMS THAT BENEFIT SENIORS 

    There are more than 10 million seniors struggling with hunger today – that’s 1 in 6. In addition to home-delivered and congregate nutrition programs, there are several federal programs that provide food/grocery assistance for low-income seniors. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CFSP), the Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).

     

    FIND YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVES AND YOUR U.S. SENATORS

    STRENGTHEN YOUR
    ADVOCACY EFFORTS

    As a Meals on Wheels America Member, you have a range of tools and resources available to you to help engage in and strengthen your own national, state and local advocacy activities.
    JOIN TODAY

    SPEAK OUT WITH US

    There has never been a time when the need is more critical for us to tell Congress to protect and boost support to the nutrition programs that enable our senior neighbors to remain healthy and independent in their own homes. Contact your elected leaders today to share your Meals on Wheels story, and encourage friends and family to do the same.
    Take Action

    HOW WE’RE TAKING ACTION EVERY DAY

    We work each day to speak out for those whose voices can be buried in large debates in Washington. Here are some of the ways we’re advocating for our programs and the seniors they serve on Capitol Hill:

    • Testifying before Congress
    • Meeting with Members of Congress and their staffs
    • Initiating Congressional letters of support for Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs
    • Submitting written testimony to key Congressional Committees
    • Providing oral statements at Congressional staff briefings 
    • Sending letters to Members of Congress
    • Signing onto national coalition letters
    • Engaging Members of Congress through social media
    • Undertaking research to help make the case for greater investment in nutritious meals for seniors and how our network is a part of the health care solution 
    • Responding and reaching out to national press and media outlets
    • Collaborating with national organizations and coalitions to strengthen our collective efforts and voice

    THE MEALS ON WHEELS MOVEMENT STARTS WITH YOU

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