Multi-channel campaign urges Congress to protect and increase federal funding for Meals on Wheels programs amidst Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations process and beyond
Arlington, VA, July 25, 2017 – With Congress in the midst of its annual appropriations debate, Meals on Wheels America launched a video vignette featuring Carol – a real Meals on Wheels client living in Whitehall Township, PA – in an effort to influence the important funding decisions that put millions of seniors at risk. Carol joins the nationwide Meals on Wheels network in making an appeal to Congress to #SaveLunch by protecting and increasing the critical federal funding sources upon which 8 out of 10 local Meals on Wheels programs rely.
“Assuring adequate federal funding for social programs like Meals on Wheels is not only vital to the health and well-being of at-risk seniors, but it is essential to the health and vibrancy of our nation,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “With community-based Meals on Wheels programs serving 23 million fewer meals today than in 2005, we are already losing ground in keeping pace with an exponentially increasing need. The time to act to save lives and money is now.”
The budget proposal put forth by the President in May includes decreases to the current funding levels for the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Program and the elimination of the Social Services, Community Services and Community Development Block Grants that also support these programs. The House Appropriations Committee recently passed its annual spending bills, which included cuts to two block grants cited above, and the Senate Appropriations Committee continues consideration of its legislation this week.
The OAA provides the vital funding foundation for 5,000+ local Meals on Wheels programs nationwide, enabling them to deliver nutritious meals, friendly visits and critical safety checks to vulnerable seniors. This public-private partnership keeps seniors out of nursing homes, prevents unnecessary trips to emergency rooms and reduces hospital admissions and readmissions, saving billions in healthcare costs each year. With the gap widening between those struggling with hunger and those being served each year, cuts of any kind will exacerbate this problem for seniors, communities and taxpayers, at large.
Carol is a client of Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County in Allentown, PA, and the video was produced and directed by pro bono ad agency Anomaly. #SaveLunch is an effort led by Meals on Wheels America. To take action, visit www.savelunch.org.
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
Jenny Bertolette Young
Meals on Wheels America