Loebsack, Petri Lead Bipartisan Letter Calling for Strong Support of Meals on Wheels Print
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Written by Lee Brooks   
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 10:50

64 members sign letter to House Appropriations Committee leaders

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Tom Petri (WI-06) sent a bipartisan letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee, calling on them to include strong funding for Meals on Wheels and other Senior Nutrition Programs in the FY2014 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill.  The letter, which was signed by a bipartisan group of 64 members, called on the House Appropriations Committee to fund these important programs at the same level as the Senate.  Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved their FY14 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriation bill, which included $816 million for Meals on Wheels and other Senior Nutrition Programs under the Older Americans Act.

“For more than 40 years, Senior Nutrition Programs have provided more than just meals. They have produced millions of dollars in savings for Medicaid and Medicare. The nutritious meals, along with the daily social contact provided at senior centers or by Meals on Wheels volunteers or staff, help seniors remain independent and healthier, live in their own homes and communities, and stay out of more costly health care settings,” the members wrote.  “Meals on Wheels and congregate nutrition programs are proven, effective and are exactly the type of investment taxpayers are looking for us to make with their hard-earned dollars.  We urge you to support strong funding for Meals on Wheels and Senior Nutrition Programs in the FY2014 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill.”

“What a tremendous show of bipartisan leadership and support at a critical time for millions of hungry seniors,” commented Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, of the Meals On Wheels Association of America. “It is clear that the message has been resoundingly heard:  Meals on Wheels programs make a social and economic difference, offering taxpayers a significant return on investment.”

National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs Board President Paul Downey of Senior Community Centers in San Diego called it "an important message to the House that these proven and effective nutrition programs need to be spared from further cuts which will result in the loss of millions of meals this year" and said that the co-signers were "important champions for older people in their Districts and the nation."

A copy of the letter can be seen here.

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