Updated December 14, 2020
Arlington, VA – December 9, 2020 – 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 in response to the Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020:
As representatives of the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs, we applaud the inclusion of $750 million in emergency funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Services in the bipartisan, bicameral proposal for pandemic relief. We urge Congress to take immediate action to finalize a COVID-19 relief package that includes vital and necessary funding for these programs.
Senior nutrition programs in communities across America stepped onto the front lines without hesitation back in March to meet the groundswell in demand for life-sustaining meals and other supports. More than nine months into the pandemic, the surge in need for nutrition services persists; yet it has been over eight months since any emergency federal funding has been provided to meet the basic needs of our nation’s seniors. Local nutrition providers cannot maintain this level of service without more funding from all sources, including our federal government.
We also join with other aging and nutrition advocates to call for congressional support for key priorities that are essential to meet the growing and ongoing needs of older adults, their caregivers and families, such as additional funding for the OAA and Aging Network in general, and increases in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, among others.
We call on Congress and the Administration to come together to finalize a bipartisan compromise to break this impasse over emergency funding. The prospect of funding running out for senior nutrition programs during the holiday season, adding to the existing ranks of hungry seniors, is unacceptable.
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.
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
Jenny Young, 571-339-1603
Meredith Ponder Whitmire, 202-789-0470