Arlington, VA, May 15, 2019 – Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland – a Meals on Wheels America partner and Member – participated in a congressional hearing convened by the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor’s Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services on the role of the Older Americans Act (OAA) today. During the hearing led by Chairwoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) – “Examining the Older Americans Act: Promoting Independence and Dignity for Older Americans” – a panel of aging advocates and service providers testified, including Stephanie Archer-Smith, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.
“Every day, senior nutrition programs are leading the fight to improve senior health by combatting hunger and isolation. The combination of nutritious meals, companionship and other person-centered support services we provide to our nation’s most vulnerable seniors is only made possible by the federal funding and support authorized by the OAA, and if it were not for Meals on Wheels, millions of seniors across the country would be hungry and disconnected from their communities,” said Archer-Smith.
The OAA – which provides funds for the majority of Meals on Wheels programs across the country – is the primary federal legislation supporting community-based social services for adults age 60 and older, as well as their families and caregivers. Federal dollars provided by the OAA leverage additional sources of funding from state, local and private sources to help meet the needs of our nation’s rapidly growing senior population, and its Nutrition Program plays a pivotal role in addressing the rising issues of senior hunger and isolation.
“Reauthorization presents an important opportunity to evaluate the OAA and ensure its programs can continue to serve seniors and families for years to come. We are so grateful to the Subcommittee for allowing Meals on Wheels a seat at the table at this critical time in the OAA’s reauthorization process. The OAA is essential to helping seniors live safely and independently at home and out of costly hospitals and long-term care facilities, and we look forward to continuing to build on the longstanding bipartisan support for this legislation in Congress,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America.
Find more information on this hearing and read the written testimony 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.
Meals on Wheels America