Meals on Wheels and the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) have collaborated on a response to the American Rescue Plan Act that was passed in the House of Representatives on February 27 demanding more for senior Americans.
Both institutes commended the inclusion of over $1.4 billion in funding to the Older Americans Act (OAA) since the beginning of the pandemic last March. But Meals on Wheels CEO Ellie Holland and NANASP Executive Director Bob Blancato, wrote a joint statement concluded with a need for more. With the current state of the country Holland and Blancato agreed that “the demand for the services that support the health and well-being of our nation’s most frail seniors continues to grow, we have a moral, social, and economic imperative to not leave them behind.”
Demanding more for seniors
“With the American Rescue Plan Act now being considered by the Senate, we call for urgent passage and that, at a minimum, $1.4 billion in emergency funding for the OAA remains intact in any final relief package. This includes emergency funding for nutritious meals, as well as the resources needed for the nationwide Aging Network to help provide outreach and supportive services, such as transportation and information and referral assistance related to the COVID-19 vaccine,” stated in H.R.1319.
Do you find yourself in need?
The need is as urgent as ever for emergency funding for our country. This emergency support is sorely needed by the community-based senior nutrition providers, especially Meals on Wheels, that are stretched beyond capacity to serve vastly higher numbers of older Americans in need of meals and critical social connection. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these programs were serving more than 221 million meals and 2.4 million seniors annually. Now, close to a year into the pandemic response, many providers report that they continue to serve double or even triple the number of older adults they had served prior.
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