STATEMENT BY SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY ON PASSAGE OF THE NUTRITION SERVICES INCENTIVE PROGRAM
Today, a bill to reinstate aspects of the Nutrition Services Incentive Program was passed in the Congress of the United States. The bill corrects changes made under the Older Americans Reauthorization Act of 2006 and restores states' ability to receive some or all of their Nutrition Services Incentive Program funds in the form of agricultural commodities through the Department of Agriculture, while at the same time helping to alleviate the Department's administrative burden. Without this change Massachusetts' senior nutrition program would see food costs increase by up to $1 million which would mean 500,000 fewer meals served per year.
Senator Kennedy said, "The Nutrition Services Incentive Program makes critical funds available to organizations like Meals on Wheels that serve meals to seniors in our communities. Senator Enzi and Senator Roberts and I introduced this bill to restore to the states the ability to obtain Department of Agriculture commodities that are less expensive and of high quality under this program. I'm thrilled that my colleagues passed this legislation without delay to make sure that thousands of seniors will be able to continue to get their meals through this program."