Older Americans Act (OAA) money at risk for Meals on Wheels People:
$2,628,000 = 357,500 senior meals
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.
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.
How widespread is Hunger in Oregon?
Hunger is persistently increasing in Oregon:
- Hunger is going up in Oregon, while in the rest of the country it is going down
- Now is not the time to be making cuts to programs that address hunger
- We must not balance the budget on the backs of the 1 in 6 Oregonians who struggle to afford food
- The solution has to include additional revenue, raised in ways that are not regressive
Federal Budget Update:
Now is the time for us to speak out to protect both the home-delivered and congregate meal services on which our seniors rely.
BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS overview
This year, the budget and appropriations processes are more complex than usual. The Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018 funding levels are under simultaneous discussion, and it is essential that Members of Congress adhere to the parity principle between non-defense and defense spending – mirroring increases or cuts in non-defense spending with equal changes in defense spending – as they have in the past. Congress must take action before the Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2017 ends on April 28, so it is critical that you stay engaged with your Members of Congress in these coming weeks. To help you do so, we've pulled together a recap of what's been going on:
Fiscal Year 2017:
- Earlier this week, the President released his proposal for Fiscal Year 2017 (the current fiscal year), which includes nearly $18 billion in cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, many of which have received bipartisan support in the past. This article from Politico provides an overview of this latest action.
- NDD United – a coalition of NDD stakeholders and organizations advocating for a balanced approach to deficit reduction – released a statement yesterday explaining the detrimental effects the President's proposed budget cut for Fiscal Year 2017 would have on NDD programs. Meals on Wheels America is a member of NDD United.
Fiscal Year 2018:
- The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee held a Fiscal Year 2018 budget hearing for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services yesterday, with Secretary Tom Price testifying. This signaled the start of a process that will continue over the next several months. To listen to this hearing, click here. For additional context surrounding the budget and hearings, listen to a short podcast from CQ Budget Tracker Extra here.
Below you'll find the latest press releases from Meals on Wheels America on the President's budget proposal.
Meals on Wheels America President and CEO Ellie Hollander sent a letter to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Read our statement clarifying funding to Meals on Wheels here.
Read our statement on the President's Budget Blueprint here.