Arlington, VA, February 22, 2018 – Meals on Wheels America and the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) sent a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees today to urge support for a $150 million increase for Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs in any final FY 2018 appropriations agreement. OAA Nutrition Programs provide home-delivered and congregate meals for 2.4 million seniors each year; however, there is a growing unmet need among a rapidly aging population that is increasingly struggling with hunger and malnutrition. In fact, a 2015 government report found that 83% of food insecure seniors did not receive meals through the OAA but likely needed them.
“We’re in a unique position where, for the first time in years, vital federal programs like the OAA Nutrition Programs are no longer constricted by unrealistic budget caps. It’s time for Congress to seize this opportunity and boost our investments in those programs that deliver the proper nutrition needed to maintain our seniors’ health now and to set the stage for significant economic benefits to the American taxpayer in the future. Meals on Wheels saves lives and money every day,” said Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander.
“The Older Americans Act nutrition programs meet all criteria to warrant this increase. They are community-based, produce positive health outcomes, help combat isolation and loneliness, produce jobs, and offer great volunteer opportunities. The ask we make would keep these programs moving forward as demand continues to grow. Members of Congress can see the human return on this investment any day they want in their districts and states by simply visiting a community nutrition site or going on a home-delivered meal route,” said NANASP Executive Director Bob Blancato.
Read the full letter to the House here and the Senate 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 isolation and hunger. 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. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, 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.
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.
Jenny Bertolette Young
Meals on Wheels America
Meredith Ponder Whitmire