Arlington, VA – December 14, 2023 –
Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander today issued the following statement in support of a congressional letter
urging leaders of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees to increase funding for Older Americans Act Title III programs, like Meals on Wheels, in Fiscal Year (FY) 2024:
Meals on Wheels America commends the Members of Congress who sent a bicameral letter to Senate and House Appropriations leadership urging that programs authorized under Title III of the Older Americans Act (OAA) be funded in Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 at levels that reflect the significant, ongoing and urgent need for services as the senior nutrition network continues to face increased demand and rising costs.
The letter championed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), recognizes the effectiveness of the OAA in meeting the nutritional and social needs of millions of individuals aged 60 and older who are most at risk of hunger and isolation, and how programs like Meals on Wheels help them to remain healthier and independent in their homes.
For more than five decades, the OAA and its programs have served as vital lifelines for older adults in greatest social and economic need, as well as their families and caregivers. But local programs require more resources to keep up with inflation, rising operational costs, fewer volunteers and increasing demand from a growing senior population. One in three Meals on Wheels programs currently has a waitlist, with older adults waiting an average of three months for vital meals. As such, Meals on Wheels America joins this latest effort urging Congress to provide at least $1.284 for Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs, like Meals on Wheels, before current funding is set to expire on February 2.
We greatly appreciate congressional leaders acknowledging the critical nature of the services this letter so effectively illuminates. As FY 2024 decisions are being made and negotiated, we will continue to rally support behind increased funding and work to ensure older Americans have the resources they need for their well-being and nourishment. Our aging neighbors cannot wait.
Read the letter led by Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Bonamici.
Read similar efforts from earlier this year in the Senate and House.
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. Powered by a trusted volunteer workforce, this network delivers a comprehensive solution that begins with a meal and is proven to enable independence and well-being through the additional benefits of tailored nutrition, social connection, safety and much more. By providing funding, programming, 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.