LoBiondo Highlights "Meals on Wheels" at South Jersey Healthcare Facility in Elmer
Congressman Authored Provisions Included in Recently Passed Reauthorization of Older Americans Act to Ensure National Senior Nutrition Programs Continue
ELMER, N.J. A long-time supporter of local Meals on Wheels programs, U.S. Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) today applauded the continued success of the senior nutrition program in conjunction with the recent passage of H.R. 5293, the "Senior Independence Act." Joining LoBiondo in the announcement at the South Jersey Healthcare facility in Elmer was the facility's Chief Operating Officer John Bickings and Sharron Schultz - Executive Director of "Meals on Wheels" of Salem County and Vice President of Membership Services of the National Meals on Wheels Association of America Board. Earlier in the day, LoBiondo joined with Meals on Wheels' volunteers in delivering meals to Elmer-area seniors.
"I am pleased those vital nutrition programs that serve the elderly, homebound, and disabled will be permitted to continue because of the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act," said LoBiondo, a member of the Congressional Older American's Caucus. "As the Meals on Wheels Association of America rightly states, these nutrition programs are critically needed so no senior goes hungry.' I will continue working with Sharron Schultz and the South Jersey Meals on Wheels chapters to ensure seniors in our communities have access to these invaluable programs."
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Under the bill, the 1965 Older Americans Act and its programs were reauthorized, including provisions authored by LoBiondo that allow for the federal support of senior nutrition programs which serves roughly 250 million congregate and in-home meals to about 2.6 million older adults annually. In April 2005, LoBiondo introduced H.R. 1792, the "Stop Senior Hunger Act," which would authorize funding for nutritional services for older individuals through congregate programs at local senior centers and through home-delivery programs such as the Meals on Wheels Association of America. Provisions of LoBiondo's bill were incorporated into the "Senior Independence Act," passed by the House on June 21, 2006. Prior to passage, LoBiondo spoke on the House floor in favor of the legislation.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 49 million people in the United States are over the age of 60, making it the fastest growing age group in the country. By the year 2050, that number will reach nearly 90 million and comprise almost a quarter of our population. Renewing the Older Americans Act was the top resolution ratified by delegates at the December 2005 White House Conference on Aging.
H.R. 5293, the "Senior Independence Act," is currently awaiting consideration by the full Senate.