Widespread Support Voiced for Aging and Nutrition Services
Arlington, VA – May 26, 2022 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement in response to a Dear Colleague letter urging the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to increase funding for the Older Americans Act in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023:
Meals on Wheels America commends the 42 Senators who sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee urging that programs authorized under the Older Americans Act (OAA) receive $4.33 billion in funding in FY 2023. The letter was led by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a staunch champion of the OAA, and we thank him and his colleagues in the Senate who are making this call for increased investment in the supportive and nutrition services funded by this legislation.
The OAA and its programs have served as vital lifelines for millions of adults aged 60 and older, as well as their families and caregivers, for more than five decades. Programs authorized under the OAA provide access to services that help make it possible for older adults to maintain their health, independence and dignity as they age – including home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation support and more.
We greatly appreciate the Senators’ acknowledgement of the many successes and challenges that OAA programs – including Meals on Wheels – have navigated for decades, and which have been amplified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as recently as April 2022, eight out of 10 local Meals on Wheels programs were serving more home-delivered meals and clients than pre-pandemic. The increase in need, coupled with rising food and gas prices, among other compounding challenges, have made it difficult to reach all those in need of services, much less to sustain the support required.
The requested funding put forth in this letter reflects the reality that OAA programs are facing today and calls attention to the need for a substantial investment to be made into the OAA. We are committed to working with Congress throughout the remainder of the FY 2023 appropriations process to secure this necessary funding and strengthen all programs under the OAA for generations to come.
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