September 14, 2017 – Today, Meals on Wheels America and Care2 delivered more than 112,000 Care2 petition signatures to Congressional leadership and Members who sit on key legislative Committees, calling on Congress to ensure there are no cuts to federal funding for Meals on Wheels programs in Fiscal Year 2018.
“For years, I volunteered to deliver meals with my local Meals on Wheels program, and the delivery was the highlight of the day for many of the seniors I visited,” said Ruth Goltzer, a long-time Meals on Wheels volunteer and the author of the Care2 petition. “When I learned that Meals on Wheels’ funding was at risk, I knew I had to stand up for this vital program, and I’m thrilled to see that tens of thousands of Americans agree.”
In conjunction with delivering petition signatures, Meals on Wheels and Care2 representatives also shared more than 1,000 paper plates containing personal messages from recipients, volunteers and supporters about the impact of Meals on Wheels, part of a nationwide #SaveLunch campaign to influence the important funding decisions that need to be made for FY 2018.
To further reinforce these messages, an educational staff briefing was held to discuss the federal funding sources upon which Meals on Wheels programs rely, the proven public-private partnership it embodies and the social and economic reasons behind increasing senior nutrition investments in FY 2018 and beyond. Speakers included Robert Blancato, Executive Director, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP); Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America; Ruth Goltzer; Jill Feasley, Director, Meals on Wheels of Takoma Park; and a local Meals on Wheels recipient.
“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. “Yet, at no time in our history has the issue of senior hunger and isolation been more dire. We must come together now to invest in our nation’s seniors to eliminate waiting lists and boost the support they need to remain more healthy, safe and independent at home.”
Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals to 2.4 million of the nation’s most vulnerable and at-risk seniors. The primary source of funding for the nationwide network of 5,000 local programs is the Older Americans Act, which has supported senior nutrition programs for 45 years and provides 35% of the total funding for Meals on Wheels nationally. This foundational funding source is threatened if Congress does not reach a bipartisan budget agreement with realistic caps on defense and nondefense discretionary spending.
For more information on how to take action, visit www.savelunch.org.
Care2 (www.Care2.com) is a community of 40 million standing together for good. People are making world-changing impact with Care2, starting petitions and supporting each other’s campaigns to help individuals, animals and the environment. A pioneer of online advocacy since 1998, Care2 is a B Corporation, or social enterprise, using the power of business as a force for good.
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, visitwww.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
Jenny Bertolette Young
Meals on Wheels America