Arlington, VA – March 12, 2020 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement regarding the United States House of Representative’s passing of the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020, following earlier approval in the Senate:
Meals on Wheels America commends Congress for passing H.R. 4334, the Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020, bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA) for another five years.
The OAA serves as the primary piece of legislation responsible for establishing, coordinating and strengthening home- and community-based nutrition and social services, like Meals on Wheels, for individuals age 60+. Its services and supports – including the three nutrition programs authorized under Title III of the Act – help keep our nation’s most vulnerable, isolated and food insecure seniors healthier, enabling these individuals to age in place safely and independently, out of costly hospitals and other long-term care facilities. This reauthorization takes significant steps toward ensuring that all OAA programs receive the support and resources they need to continue to serve the 11 million older Americans and their caregivers who depend on them now and into the future.
We value the leadership of Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray; Senate Aging Committee Chairman Susan Collins and Ranking Member Bob Casey; House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx; and Subcommittee Chairwoman Suzanne Bonamici and Ranking Member James Comer – for paving the way for this critical reauthorization. In addition, we want to recognize and thank the 23 Senators and 25 Representatives who cosponsored this vital legislation. Together, their perseverance demonstrates a steadfast commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our nation’s rapidly growing older adult population and the more than 5,000 community-based nutrition programs that serve them nationwide. Passage of this critical legislation at this time is especially meaningful as we celebrate throughout the month of March the anniversary of the law that amended the OAA of 1965 and established the national nutrition program for seniors.
Meals on Wheels America looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) on implementation of this reauthorization and increasing investments for OAA nutrition programs such that no senior is kept from accessing critical OAA services in any time of need.
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.
Meals on Wheels America
Jenny Young, 571-339-1603