House Appropriations Subcommittee Receives 129 Bipartisan Signatures, Underscoring Congressional Support for Increased Funding
Arlington, VA – April 27, 2022 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement in response to a Dear Colleague letter urging the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to increase funding for Older Americans Act Title III programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023:
Meals on Wheels America commends the 129 U.S. Representatives who sent a bipartisan letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee leadership urging that programs authorized under Title III of the Older Americans Act (OAA) be funded in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 at levels that reflect the significant, ongoing and urgent need for services as the OAA network continues to face rising costs and increased demand since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter was championed by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), John Katko (R-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who have each been dedicated supporters of the OAA and the aging and caregiving population its programs serve across the country every day.
This year marks 50 years since the establishment of the Title III-C OAA Nutrition Program – covering both congregate and home-delivered meals. For five decades, this proven and effective public-private partnership has served as the only federal program designed specifically to meet the nutritional and social needs of individuals age 60+ who are most at risk of hunger and isolation, helping them to maintain their health, dignity and ability to live independently.
Amid the pandemic, the OAA Nutrition Program has served as a lifeline for older adults and their families as the need and demand for nutrition and socialization services skyrocketed along with operating expenses for community-based nutrition programs that provide these vital supports. OAA programs – like Meals on Wheels – are undoubtedly going to feel the lingering effects of the pandemic for years to come. In addition, the expected growth in our nation’s senior population will continue to outpace programs’ abilities to serve those in need if a substantial federal investment is not made soon.
Meals on Wheels America again thanks the Members of Congress who added their signature to the Dear Colleague letter, which underscores the value of congregate and home-delivered nutrition programs. We look forward to working with Congress during the FY 2023 appropriations process to build upon the existing bipartisan support for OAA programs and secure desperately needed increases in funding. We must act now to ensure these programs have the solid foundation required to support the health and well-being of millions of older adults for another 50 years and beyond.
Read the Dear Colleague 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 hunger and isolation. 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. Through funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy, 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