Arlington, VA, December 23, 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 shared a joint statement following the passage of H.R. 2617, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023:
As representatives of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs that rely on federal funding through the Older Americans Act (OAA) to operate, we thank Congress for passing a bipartisan Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 spending agreement which includes a $100 million increase in funding – more than 10 percent from existing levels – for OAA nutrition services. For over 50 years, the OAA Nutrition Program has provided home-delivered and congregate meals for individuals 60 and older and has been essential to addressing hunger, malnutrition, and advancing the overall health and well-being of millions annually.
We recognize that passage of this bill occurred in a difficult funding environment and that this $100 million boost represents the largest regular appropriations increase in the history of the program. This funding is a continued affirmation of the value and importance of community-based nutrition providers and the individuals they reach every day. The OAA remains one of the best examples of a successful public-private partnership in which older adults both receive nutritious meals and benefit from opportunities for socialization, safety checks and connections to community resources.
Local senior nutrition programs will continue to face difficult challenges in the coming year, including increased need for meals, phasing out of emergency COVID funding, waning philanthropic support, and soaring food and fuel costs. As such, we ultimately view this increase as a transitional funding level and know that considerably more will be needed in FY 2024. We again thank members of the House and Senate for supporting this critical investment in nutrition security for our nation’s seniors and look forward to working together to secure more resources in the 118th Congress.
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 Whitmore