On Tuesday, June 10, the Senate Appropriations Labor-HHS Subcommittee approved the draft Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill for FY 2015. This bill includes the Older Americans Act programs and other Administration for Community Living (ACL) programs.
The Older Americans Act programs are mostly funded at the same levels as FY 2014. This includes the congregate and home-delivered meals programs, which were flat-funded but at the higher level achieved by the $47 million increase which NANASP, Meals on Wheels Association of America and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics helped to secure last year. Congregate meals will be funded at $438 million and home-delivered meals will be funded at $216 million.
Final congressional action on the fiscal year 2014 omnibus spending bill happened with the Senate’s overwhelming bipartisan passage of the bill. The House vote on the bill was also bipartisan and strong. This bill funds the government through September 30. It restores funding for senior nutrition programs by ending sequestration and adding $46 million in funds. This funds senior nutrition programs at FY12 levels.
“The restoration of the sequester cuts for senior nutrition is a significant achievement for the aging network. My deepest thanks to every NANASP member who advocated to make this a reality – job well done! But we cannot rest on this victory, because restoration of funding only brings us back to where we were – not where we must be in order to meet the demand for services. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to pressure Congress and the Administration to invest in the necessary infrastructure to keep our nation’s seniors healthy and independent,” Paul Downey, NANASP Past President, said.