Arlington, VA, October 28, 2019 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement regarding the passage of legislation that supports the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) – H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act of 2019 – in the U.S. House of Representatives:
Meals on Wheels America applauds the House of Representatives for today’s passage of the Dignity in Aging Act of 2019, a critical step in moving the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA) forward. In particular, we want to commend the leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee and Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services for introducing this strong, bipartisan legislation that received unanimous approval following this bill’s September markup.
For more than 50 years, the OAA has served as the primary federal legislation supporting the social and nutrition services that enable our nation’s most vulnerable, isolated and food insecure seniors to remain healthier and in their own homes and communities longer. This, in turn, delays and/or prevents altogether the need for more expensive institutional care often paid for through Medicare or Medicaid, helping to save taxpayers at the local, state and federal levels in reduced healthcare expenditures.
With each reauthorization, Congress has the ability to bolster the OAA to improve the senior nutrition network’s ability to remain sustainable and better address the needs of our country’s rapidly growing older adult population. H.R. 4334 takes significant steps toward accomplishing just that through a critical increase in authorization of appropriations, support for aging services research and development, and a greater recognition of our network’s comprehensive and holistic service model. We urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead and move forward on a bipartisan OAA reauthorization bill before the end of the year to ensure we can adequately serve those who depend on OAA programs in the coming years.
Read Meals on Wheels America’s letter of support here. The legislative text can be found here, and a legislative fact sheet can be found here.
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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.
Meals on Wheels America