HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE RECEIVES 130 BIPARTISAN SIGNATURES
Arlington, VA, March 29, 2019 – 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 a Dear Colleague letter urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to increase funding for Older Americans Act programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020:
Meals on Wheels America and NANASP applaud and commend the 130 Members of Congress who sent a bipartisan letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Subcommittee urging that programs authorized under Title III of the Older Americans Act (OAA) be prioritized during the FY 2020 appropriations process. The letter was championed by U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), all of whom regularly lead the call for legislation supporting the OAA and the millions of seniors served through its programs.
The OAA is the primary piece of federal legislation supporting critical services for seniors aged 60 and older and their caregivers. The OAA Nutrition Program – which provides congregate and home-delivered meals for 2.4 million seniors each year – is the only federal program designed specifically to meet the nutritional and social needs of our nation’s most at-risk seniors, helping them to successfully age in their communities of choice and out of far more costly healthcare settings.
While the OAA is key to addressing the needs of our nation’s rapidly growing senior population and the concurrent, rising demand for meals among those at risk of hunger and isolation, federal funding for its vital programs has remained insufficient year after year to close the gap between seniors in need and seniors served.
Meals on Wheels America and NANASP again thank the Members of Congress who added their signature to this letter which explicitly highlights the value of congregate and home-delivered nutrition programs. We look forward to working with Congress throughout the FY 2020 appropriations process to continue to build on the bipartisan and bicameral support for the OAA Nutrition Program – Congregate, Home-Delivered and the Nutrition Services Incentive Program – and to urge a 10% increase over its current funding level for a total of $997,428,000 to support the community-based organizations serving as a frontline defense to reducing hunger, isolation and healthcare costs among vulnerable seniors each day.
Read the letter here.
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.
Meals on Wheels America
Meredith Ponder Whitmire