Arlington, VA – October 29, 2021 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander and National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) Executive Director Bob Blancato today shared a joint statement in response to the Older Americans Act provisions included in H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, as updated on October 28:
As representatives of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs, we were pleased to see $1.2 billion in funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) programs in the latest version of the Build Back Better Act. We make an urgent appeal to the House and Senate to retain this funding in the final legislation. We are especially gratified with the $140 million provided for OAA nutrition programs, including Meals on Wheels.
Millions of older adults and caregivers trust and rely upon the vital aging and nutrition services delivered by the OAA to maintain healthier and more independent lives in their communities. The OAA provisions within this bill would help meet the pressing needs Meals on Wheels programs face, many of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Providing significant levels of funding for the OAA is a sound social and economic return on investment and would directly address key goals of the Build Back Better Act by lowering healthcare costs; delivering affordable, high-quality care at home for older adults and individuals with disabilities; supporting family caregivers; and promoting nutrition security for our nation’s most vulnerable seniors.
We must not let this opportunity to invest in the aging and nutrition services network pass.
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.
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.
Meals on Wheels America
Meredith Ponder Whitmire, 202-789-0470