New National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Recommends Increased Funding Levels for Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs, like Meals on Wheels
Arlington, VA, October 3, 2022 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander and National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) Executive Director Bob Blancato today shared a joint statement following the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health and enactment of H.R. 6833, the Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2023.
As representatives of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs that rely on federal funding through the Older Americans Act (OAA) to operate, we call on Congress and the Administration to make ending senior hunger and malnutrition a priority. We urge Congress to negotiate a final bipartisan agreement for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 before December 16 and double the funding for the OAA Nutrition Program, which provides home-delivered and congregate meals for individuals 60 and older.
Passage of this short-term funding bill comes on the heels of a historic event, the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The White House released its National Strategy aimed at ending hunger in America by 2030 last week, and it highlights the OAA Nutrition Program’s impact on improving food security and the health and well-being of our nation’s older adult population and calls for an increase in its federal funding.
Our respective organizations know that our country cannot wait any longer for concrete action to address hunger and malnutrition. A senior “hunger cliff” is looming, as the need for meals increases, emergency COVID funding phases out, philanthropic support wanes, and the cost of food and fuel – the very things local programs, including Meals on Wheels, need to operate – remain at record highs.
The National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health recognizes the need for increased investments. Now we need Congress to act. We urge Congress and the Administration to double funding for OAA nutrition programs to a total of $1.934 billion in FY 2023 to tangibly respond to the National Strategy’s call. America’s seniors and local nutrition providers are counting on leaders in Washington to deliver on their promises and not leave them behind.
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 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