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Public Statements

Senior Independence Act of 2006

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. LoBIONDO. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the chairman for his hard work in building a coalition to put this bill together, and particularly I rise in strong support of the provisions reauthorizing the vital senior nutrition programs. This legislation, like the Stop Senior Hunger Act that I introduced last year, recognizes how important these programs are and how much they help the elderly, the homebound, the disabled, and the frail across America. The senior nutrition programs and these services play a vital role in helping older Americans lead active, independent, healthy lives and avoid unnecessary institutionalization.

The Older Americans Act nutrition programs serve about 250 million congregate and in-home meals to about 6.6 million older adults annually. I have been on some of the deliveries with the volunteers to the Meals on Wheels program. I have had an opportunity to look into the faces of the seniors who are receiving these programs. Very often it is the only contact of the day. It is an extremely cost-effective program, but, more importantly, it is a program that genuinely helps seniors. These meals support quality of life, promote independence, reduce health care costs, decrease nursing home admissions, and help those with long-term illnesses and those who may just need a little short-term assistance after the hospital stay during the time of need. In the words of the Meals on Wheels Association of America, the oldest and largest organization representing senior meal programs, these programs are needed so no senior goes hungry.


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