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Apr 07, 2016

Arlington, VA, April 7, 2016 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement regarding the United States Senate’s passing of S.192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016.

For more than fifty years, the Older Americans Act (OAA) has supported the nutrition services and infrastructure that enables millions of seniors to grow older in their own communities and live with the independence and dignity they deserve. We are pleased the Senate took action today to approve S.192, the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016; overcoming the final hurdle for this bipartisan legislation that has gone unauthorized since 2011.

Meals on Wheels America has been supportive of S.192 since it was first introduced at the start of the 114th Congress. We again want to commend the leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education Labor and Pensions and House Committee on Education and the Workforce, as well as their staffs, for their tireless efforts to carefully craft a bipartisan bill that protects the core programs and the millions of seniors and caregivers it helps to support. In addition, we want to recognize and thank the 27 Senators who cosponsored S.192, and the dozens of Members of Congress who signed letters, made floor speeches and urged action on reauthorizing this vital legislation.

Today, the OAA supports three nutrition programs including, the Congregate Nutrition Program, Home-Delivered Nutrition Program and Nutrition Services Incentive Program. Collectively, they represent the only federal programs specifically designed and tailored to meet the unique nutritional and social needs of our nation’s most vulnerable seniors. And while these vital programs continue to be linked to improvements in health, well-being and quality of life, they are also significantly lessening the burden on our nation’s healthcare system and saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

Meals on Wheels America now looks forward to working with Congress through the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations process to increase investments for the OAA. At a time in our nation’s history when both the need and demand for nutritious meals are already substantial and will continue to grow exponentially, it is critical that proven and effective programs serving our most vulnerable seniors are further strengthened.

The bipartisan bill passed unanimously and will now go to the President’s desk to be signed into law. You can find the Meals on Wheels America letter of support here, a summary of the Senate legislation here and House amendment here.

Press Contact:
Jenny Bertolette
Meals on Wheels America