Tell Congress: Protect Seniors from Hunger Now

The   Older Americans Act (OAA)   is critical to helping seniors live independently as they age. This is the first in a three-part series outlining the importance of programs funded by the OAA to the dignity of seniors across America. Please read, share and tell Congress to not play political games with seniors’ health and well-being.

Today, too many older Americans are one meal away from going hungry. The numbers are startling:

- 9 million Americans aged 50+ are at risk for hunger every day
- 79% more age 50+ Americans are at risk for hunger today than were at risk 10 years ago

Why are seniors at such high risk? Because meals are hard to afford on a fixed income, and the physical effects of aging can make formerly routine tasks such as grocery shopping and food preparation difficult, if not impossible.

>> Discussion: Fighter Hunger in Your Hometown

That's why services like the one provided by Meals On Wheels are so important.  Without the guarantee of nutritious, low-cost meals delivered to their doors, many seniors would be forced to leave their homes - where they want to live - for costly nursing homes.

hill w caption

Take Mrs. Hill, for example, a recently-widowed senior with a debilitating hip injury which makes shopping and food preparation difficult. She describes the regular visits from Meals On Wheels volunteers as a highlight of her day:

The service is not just delivering noonday meals - it's also providing safety, security, and someone to check in on you. I was greatly elated at that thoughtfulness.


alsworth 2

Then there's Mr. Alsworth, who turned to the program after undergoing cancer treatment. After being weakened by chemo and radiation therapy, he gives Meals on Wheels credit for helping him regain his strength.

It's exactly what I needed. It gave me energy. It really got me back to life.

These are just two of many of Meals On Wheels success stories. Yet even though helping protect seniors from hunger is something we can all agree on, Congress has yet to renew the Older Americans Act (OAA), undermining programs like Meals On Wheels.

One estimate puts the number of meals the OAA provides at 19 million per year. Stop and think about that --   19 million meals. That goes a long way toward reducing senior hunger. But unless the public speaks up, Congress isn't likely to act.

That's where you come in.

Right now, Congress is stuck in political gridlock over the OAA, and there are just a few short weeks left before they recess for the summer. We have a brief window of opportunity right now to make sure they do the right thing - so we need you to take action today. Tell your Senators to stand up for the dignity and independence of seniors and support the Older Americans Act now!

UPDATE [2/10/15]: T he Senate HELP Committee has 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.

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.