Imagine living alone, being frail or living with a disability, and unable to leave your house without help. Now imagine feeling a hunger pang, opening up your fridge to find it empty, or wondering how you are going to get your next meal.
In the same week as its 50th anniversary, the Senate finally renewed the Older Americans Act (OAA). Thanks to the bipartisan support of Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Older Americans Act is moving forward after 5 years of inaction.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this week a proposed program to improve access to groceries for homebound older Americans and people with disabilities who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program. AARP spoke with Vilsack about the pilot program and food insecurity among older adults.
The Older Americans Act (OAA) is critical to helping seniors live independently as they age. Last month, the Senate HELP Committee unanimously approved the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 , a bipartisan bill supported by AARP. The bill now awaits a vote in the full Senate. This is the third in a three-part series detailing the importance of programs funded by the OAA to the dignity of seniors across America.
The $1.1 trillion bipartisan spending bill passed by Congress funds federal agencies through the rest of the fiscal year, eases the sharp budget cuts known as the sequester and ends the lingering threat of another government shutdown. It also affects a number of programs especially important to older Americans.
Even if you aren't familiar with the Older Americans Act, you probably know of services it makes possible: Meals on Wheels, job training, senior centers and family caregiver support, among many others. The future of this safety net for older Americans looks a little brighter because, with bipartisan support, a key Senate committee advanced legislation to reauthorize the OAA on Oct. 30.
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