Arlington, VA – March 22, 2022 – Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander and National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) Executive Director Bob Blancato today issued the following statement in response to two separate Congressional resolutions in the House of Representatives and the Senate recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Program:
Today marks a monumental milestone in our nation’s response to the needs of a growing senior population – on this day 50 years ago, the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Program was signed into law, establishing a national nutrition program for individuals 60 years and older. This legislation supported the rapid expansion of the nationwide network of community-based senior nutrition programs – such as Meals on Wheels – which has been providing vital social and nutrition services to help older adults maintain healthy, independent lives in their communities for the past five decades.
Meals on Wheels America and NANASP commend the Members of Congress who joined together in support of bipartisan resolutions honoring the 50th anniversary of the OAA Nutrition Program, recognizing the value of local senior nutrition programs and the contributions of their staff and volunteers. In the House of Representatives, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL) and John Katko (R-NY) led House Resolution 993 with more than 55 Representatives signing on as original cosponsors. In the Senate, Chairman Bob Casey (D-PA) and Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-SC) of the Senate Special Committee on Aging led and cosponsored Senate Resolution 550. We thank these Members of Congress for their leadership and longstanding support of the OAA and the millions of older adults and caregivers served through its programs every day.
We are eager to work closely with Congress and the Administration to continue to build on the strong bipartisan, bicameral support that exists for the OAA Nutrition Program, as displayed through these dual resolutions. This proven, valuable and effective public-private partnership has been bettering communities nationwide for 50 years by addressing senior hunger, malnutrition and social isolation. We urge a doubling of federal funding that will allow local senior nutrition providers to keep pace with increased program costs and demand so it can continue to do so for another 50 years and beyond.
For more information, read the House resolution here and the Senate resolution here.
Read this coauthored op-ed published in The Hill from Ellie Hollander and Bob Blancato recognizing the 50th anniversary of the OAA Nutrition Program here.
Meals on Wheels America, NANASP and several OAA Nutrition Program participants are coming together for a Facebook Live event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the OAA Nutrition Program and share a conversation about how far this program has come and the work that still remains to tackle senior hunger and social isolation in America. The event will be accessible on Meals on Wheels America’s Facebook page beginning at 4:00 p.m. EDT today, Tuesday, March 22.
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