Arlington, VA, November 8, 2017 – Following the introduction of the Nourishing Our Golden Years Act – legislation that aims to streamline the application and administrative processes for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander released the following statement:
I commend Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA) of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, on introducing the Nourishing Our Golden Years Act. This important piece of bipartisan legislation will ease the burden placed on low-income seniors when applying for assistance to access the nutritious food they need to remain healthy and independent.
Today, nearly 10 million seniors face the threat of hunger, struggling to access and afford nutritious food. Older adults are also among the most vulnerable to malnutrition, and their health status may be compromised with even a slight reduction in nutritional intake. The Commodity Supplemental Food Program – a federal nutrition program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – helps to address the effects of food insecurity among low-income seniors 60+ by providing them with monthly shelf-stable and nutrient-rich food boxes. The food is purchased by USDA and delivered by local, community-based organizations to eligible seniors.
The Nourishing Our Golden Years Act aims to improve the current application process and reduce administrative barriers that may result in eligible seniors being unnecessarily removed from recipient lists. If enacted, this bill would make it markedly easier for this vulnerable population of nearly 700,000 seniors to have reliable access to proper nutrition.
We look forward to working with Congress to include this legislation in any final Farm Bill package to ensure that the needs of food insecure seniors continue to be addressed properly and well into the future.
The Nourishing Our Golden Years Act was drafted following a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing in July 2017 that examined existing senior nutrition programs. Read Meals on Wheels America’s statement submitted for the hearing record here, and watch a recording of the hearing and view the witnesses’ testimony here.
For more information on this legislation, read a letter sent to Ranking Member Casey from a group of nearly a dozen anti-hunger organizations here.
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