The number of seniors in our country will grow exponentially over the coming years. Meals on Wheels People is a proven public-private partnership that effectively addresses the challenges of aging by promoting health and improving quality of life for our communities’ most vulnerable seniors. Speak out to not only keep seniors at home, but also save billions in tax dollars by keeping them out of more costly healthcare settings. Meals on Wheels People is powered by people just like you and we need your help to fund and protect the programs that support our seniors.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) has been a primary piece of federal legislation supporting social and nutrition services to Americans over age 60 since 1965. OAA programs are vital for seniors who are at significant risk of hunger, isolation and losing their ability to live independently. Funding for OAA programs has decreased by 18% over the past 20 years while the senior population has grown by 34%.
The Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 passed by Congress reauthorizes programs for FY 2017 through FY 2019. While this is a step in the right direction in protecting this important legislation, it's just as critical that the OAA is adequately funded. Unfortunately, funding has failed to keep pace with the needs of a rapidly growing senior population and OAA Nutrition Programs are serving nearly 23 million fewer meals today than in 2005.
|How to speak out for seniors!|
Contact your elected officials and urge them to increase funding to meet the growing population of seniors. Let them know that all seniors in need should have access to nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks; please invest in services and benefits for our seniors! Follow this link to find your elected officials. Write them an actual letter! Writing letters in your own words is an efficient and effective way to influence Members of Congress. Since congressional offices receive only a handful of letters on most issues, each carries real power.
Join Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, along with the Oregon Hunger Task Force, the Hunger-Free Leadership Institute, and the Hunger-Free Oregon Action Network in calling on the Legislature to build a hunger-free Oregon! We need your voice, your passion, and your story to win meaningful change for the lives of people impacted by hunger and food insecurity. Registration is free, but you can make a donation to cover the cost of your and others' participation. See more at Hunger-Free Oregon Day of Action.
Gov. Kate Brown has proposed severe cuts to Oregon Project Independence (OPI) to help close a $1.8 billion budget gap for 2017-2019. But limiting support for the program will only push more seniors into Medicaid, which costs the state more than this program, which provides limited help for seniors wishing to stay at home. Sen. Tim Knopp and Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer may lead the bipartisan effort to save the program. Let your State Representatives know that Oregon Needs Full Funding of OPI to Protect Seniors.
With a new President and recently sworn-in 115th Congress in place, it is critical that we educate these new leaders in Washington about the social and economic return on investment your programs deliver to our seniors, communities, taxpayers and nation as a whole. While it is clear that Meals on Wheels programs have far-reaching bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, there are also many legislative and policy unknowns in the weeks ahead. Now is the time for us to speak out to protect both the home-delivered and congregate meal services on which our seniors rely.