Arlington, VA, September 18, 2018 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander and National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) Executive Director Bob Blancato today issued the following statement in response to the House and Senate Conference Committee Report on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act:
Meals on Wheels America and NANASP thank the Committee for recognizing the need to increase funding for the congregate and home-delivered meal programs that provide critical services to vulnerable seniors in communities nationwide. The Conference agreement provides a $25 million increase for the Administration for Community Living (ACL), $10 million of which is specifically designated for the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program. We commend House and Senate appropriations leaders and their staff for working together to reach a bipartisan compromise in advance of the September 30 deadline.
As our nation’s senior population grows exponentially, an increasing number of older adults are left at risk of hunger and isolation. Investments like those provided in this Conference Committee agreement are needed to enable senior nutrition programs to address the growing unmet need for meals, assist older adults to remain healthy, safe and independent in their homes, and reduce costly healthcare expenditures among vulnerable seniors.
Therefore, we urge Congress to adopt the FY 2019 funding levels for the OAA as directed by the Conference Committee before the start of a new fiscal year. We look forward to working together to further ensure that the nutritional and social needs of our nation’s seniors remain a top priority.
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ABOUT MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA
Meals on Wheels America is the leadership organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network serves 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.
Founded in 1977, the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) is proud to be a leading organization advocating for community-based senior nutrition programs and staff. Our member programs represent a wide range of essential services providers who support the nutrition, health and life quality of seniors. With over 1,100 members from across the United States, we are national advocates for senior health and wellbeing who strengthen the policies and programs that nourish seniors. We accomplish this mission through a collective national voice and through local community action. For more information, go to nanasp.org.
Jenny Bertolette Young
Meals on Wheels America
Meredith Ponder Whitmore