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Mar 25, 2016

Arlington, VA, March 25, 2016 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement in response to a Dear Colleague letter urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to fund Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs at no less than the President’s request in Fiscal Year 2017.

Meals on Wheels America applauds the nearly fifty Members of Congress who sent a letter to leaders of the House Committee on Appropriations encouraging that the President’s budget request for Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs – both congregate and home-delivered – be honored during the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations process. The letter, which was led by U.S. Representatives Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA), says that in meeting this funding request, Congress would “help fulfill our nation’s commitment to maintaining dignity and independent living regardless of income or location.”

Frankly, the need for nutritious meals through these programs has never been at a more critical level. Today, 9.6 million seniors – or one in six – may not know from where their next meal will come. At the same time, the OAA Nutrition Program network as a whole is serving 21 million fewer meals annually to seniors than we were a decade ago due to declining federal and state funding, and rising food, transportation and operational costs.

Given that OAA resources remain insufficient to meet the growing need and escalating demand, Meals on Wheels America is looking forward to working with Congress through the appropriations process to continue to increase investments so that, at a minimum, we stave off the decline in the number of individuals and meals served.

This Dear Colleague letter comes on the heels of the House passing S.192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act, that would if signed into law, reauthorize for three years the OAA Nutrition Programs that are proven to improve health, well-being and quality of life for seniors while significantly lessening the burden on our nation’s healthcare system and saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

Read the letter here.

Press Contact:
Jenny Bertolette
Meals on Wheels America