Meals on Wheels America Turns to Appropriations Process to Fund Senior Nutrition Programs
Arlington, VA – June 3, 2023 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement in response to H.R. 3746, the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, being signed into law by President Biden following bipartisan support in the House and Senate:
After several weeks of tense negotiations between the White House and Congress, the threat of national default has been averted with enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, a bipartisan deal to suspend the debt limit and address federal spending.
Throughout these discussions, Meals on Wheels America has continually emphasized the importance of avoiding policies that would exacerbate hunger or jeopardize the well-being of those in greatest social and economic need. We are relieved that a bipartisan deal was ultimately reached, eliminating the catastrophic consequences of default and previously proposed funding cuts that could have resulted in more than one million seniors losing Meals on Wheels.
We will now pivot to the annual appropriations process to make our case to lawmakers, working diligently to ensure that the necessary resources are allocated to properly care for the 2.8 million older adults who rely on us and the millions more currently in need due to inadequate funding. Simply maintaining current funding levels is not an acceptable outcome and in fact would represent a funding cut at a time when more investments are desperately needed.
As such, we urge Congress to provide additional funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA) in Fiscal Year 2024, including a minimum of $1.3 billion for senior nutrition services to address increasing demand and higher operating costs. Federal funding is essential for Meals on Wheels programs, especially with an estimated 86% of low-income, food insecure older adults not receiving the meals for which they may be eligible.
We look to the Administration and Congress to ensure our nation’s most vulnerable seniors are not forgotten in the days ahead and stand ready and committed to work alongside both to achieve this goal. Millions of Americans are depending on it.
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