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Sen. Franken Introduces Legislation to Help Homebound Seniors, Individuals with Disabilities Get Meals in Their Homes

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Today, in an effort to help seniors and Minnesotans with disabilities stay in their homes, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced legislation that would make it easier for them to get groceries delivered directly to them.

"I've talked to seniors and people with disabilities all over Minnesota, and I've heard over and over that their top priority is staying independent and in their homes," said Sen. Franken. "Unfortunately, many Minnesotans are unable to get the groceries they need without the help of a neighbor, family member, or delivery organization. My legislation would make it easier for people all over the state to get the nutrition they need without leaving their homes, helping them stay more independent."

Currently, low-income seniors and people with disabilities can't use their SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps) to pay for groceries delivered by nonprofit organizations because those organizations are not considered retail food stores. Sen. Franken's Enhancing Nutrition Service to Elderly and Individuals with Disabilities Act would allow those organizations to accept SNAP benefits as payment for groceries.

In October, Sen. Franken introduced legislation that would establish a Home Care Consumer Bill of Rights to protect seniors who receive care in their homes. In December, he introduced legislation that would expand direct care, allowing more seniors to receive health care in their homes, so that they can avoid costly, unnecessary hospital visits.

The Enhancing Nutrition Service to Elderly and Individuals with Disabilities Act was introduced as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill, which is currently being debated by the Senate. It has been endorsed by the American Association of Retired Persons, the National Council on Aging, the Association of Minnesota Counties, and a number of other local and national organizations.


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