INCREASING & SUSTAINING FEDERAL FUNDING FOR OLDER AMERICANS ACT NUTRITION PROGRAMS AND THE SOCIAL SERVICES, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS
Federal funding has failed to keep pace with the escalating growth in the senior population and need for nutritious meals. This problem is exacerbated by significant increases in food and transportation costs and the impact of the economic downturn. Meals on Wheels programs were hit hard in 2013 by the unnecessary and automatic, across-the-board cuts known as sequestration. With 10 million seniors struggling with hunger, 1 in 4 Meals on Wheels programs with a waiting list for services and more than 12,000 Americans turning 60 every day, we must continue to invest in these proven and cost-effective programs.
PROTECTING & STRENGTHENING THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT
The Older Americans Act (OAA) has been the primary federal legislation supporting nutrition, social and preventative services for Americans 60 and older since 1965. OAA programs, including home-delivered and group setting (congregate) meals, are vital for seniors who are at significant risk of hunger or losing their ability to live independently. In 2014, the OAA supported the provision of nearly 218 million meals that were delivered to more than 2.4 million seniors nationwide.
SUPPORTING PROPOSALS TO MODIFY THE TAX CODE & INCREASE CHARITABLE DONATIONS
Meals on Wheels programs - whether home-delivered or in congregate settings - could not operate without the generous charitable donations of volunteers. Whether donations take the form of donated goods and services, money or volunteering mileage and one’s own vehicle to deliver meals, we favor modifications to the tax code that can help encourage and increase the charitable donations our programs rely on to serve seniors in need, supporting the millions of dedicated volunteers who day-in and day-out help care for our nation's most vulnerable citizens.
IMPROVING ACCESS TO OTHER FEDERAL NUTRITION PROGRAMS THAT BENEFIT SENIORS
The number of seniors struggling with hunger has doubled over the past two decades. In addition to home-delivered and congregate nutrition programs, there are several federal programs that provide food/grocery assistance for low-income seniors. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CFSP), the Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).