Meals on Wheels serves an incredibly vulnerable population and is often the primary lifeline delivering so much more than just a meal, especially in uncertain times. Across the country, local programs are monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation, taking precautions to protect these high-risk individuals, and preparing for increased demand and new ways of delivering services. We know the critical importance of preparation in times like this and understand the delicate balance between panic and preparedness.
THE FIGHT FOR SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING
We are urging the Administration and Congress to ensure local senior nutrition programs are adequately resourced. It is critical that these community-based programs have access to supplemental federal funding and clear, timely emergency guidance.
Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander and National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) Executive Director Bob Blancato released a joint statement regarding the federal response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The President signed the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 (H.R. 748) into law on March 27, marking the third consecutive federal emergency package that has been signed into law in the past three weeks to respond to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, and it takes significant steps to support senior nutrition programs and the vulnerable individuals they serve. This package includes $500 million for Older Americans Act (OAA) Congregate, Home-Delivered and Native American Nutrition Services, which is in addition to the $250 million that was passed on March 18 in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201). This current package also includes policy changes that senior nutrition programs have said they need at this time in order to act quickly and provide services during this public emergency. You can view our joint statement with NANASP commending Congress and the Administration for these enactments here.