Today, representatives from the national Meals on Wheels network – including leaders of local programs, board members and staff of Meals on Wheels America – took to Capitol Hill to meet with more than 90 Members of Congress and/or their staff to be a voice for homebound, at-risk seniors. In an effort to continue to build on the bipartisan, bicameral support that exists for Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs, these meetings urged lawmakers to increase FY 2019 funding by $100M for a total of $996.7M.
In addition to increased appropriations, the agenda also focused on protecting and increasing funding for all OAA programs and the Social Services, Community Development and Community Services Block Grants upon which many local Meals on Wheels programs rely to meet the demand for services. Representatives also spoke to the need to safeguard other federal nutrition programs that benefit vulnerable seniors, support charitable tax deductions to promote giving and volunteerism, and modify Medicare and Medicaid plans to improve nutrition assistance options that improve health and wellbeing for most vulnerable seniors, as well as save taxpayer dollars in reduced healthcare costs.
The visits were scheduled in conjunction with the annual observance of Older Americans Month – a special month established first by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 to celebrate older Americans and honor the important contributions they have made – and continue to make – to this country.