News Releases

Congress Releases FY14 Spending Bill Which Restores Funding to Senior Nutrition Programs by Ending Sequestration

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairs of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, released an “omnibus” spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2014 last night which restores funding for senior nutrition programs by ending sequestration. It funds senior nutrition programs at $815 million, or FY12 levels. NANASP and the Meals on Wheels Association of America sent a letter (House version; Senate version) in conjunction with 27 other national organizations to all Appropriations leadership as well as all members of the House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittees in late December urging them to end sequestration and restore funding for senior meals programs. 

The omnibus contains individual spending bills for all federal agencies and programs. The overall level of funding was agreed to in December and appropriators have worked since then to write the omnibus. The House and Senate will likely pass a three-day “stopgap” Continuing Resolution today, allowing them to work through Saturday on passing the omnibus, as funding for the government expires after Wednesday.

Sen. Harkin’s (Chair of the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee) press release can be found here. Rep. Rogers’ (Chair of the House Appropriations Committee) press release can be found here. Rep. Lowey’s (Ranking Member of House Appropriations) press release on funding can be found here.


NANASP Executive Director Cites “Double Jeopardy” to Seniors in Calling for an End to the Shutdown and the Sequester Read the press release...


Washington Update, September 20, 2013

July, 29, 2013 - Washington, D.C.

Today, Congressmen Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Tom Petri (WI-06) sent a bipartisan letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee, calling on them to include strong funding for Meals on Wheels and other Senior Nutrition Programs in the FY2014 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill.  The letter, which was signed by a bipartisan group of 64 members, called on the House Appropriations Committee to fund these important programs at the same level as the Senate.  Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved their FY14 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriation bill, which included $816 million for Meals on Wheels and other Senior Nutrition Programs under the Older Americans Act.

“For more than 40 years, Senior Nutrition Programs have provided more than just meals. They have produced millions of dollars in savings for Medicaid and Medicare. The nutritious meals, along with the daily social contact provided at senior centers or by Meals on Wheels volunteers or staff, help seniors remain independent and healthier, live in their own homes and communities, and stay out of more costly health care settings,” the members wrote.  “Meals on Wheels and congregate nutrition programs are proven, effective and are exactly the type of investment taxpayers are looking for us to make with their hard-earned dollars.  We urge you to support strong funding for Meals on Wheels and Senior Nutrition Programs in the FY2014 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill.”

“What a tremendous show of bipartisan leadership and support at a critical time for millions of hungry seniors,” commented Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, of the Meals On Wheels Association of America.  “It is clear that the message has been resoundingly heard:  Meals on Wheels programs make a social and economic difference, offering taxpayers a significant return on investment.”

National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs Board President Paul Downey of Senior Community Centers in San Diego called it "an important message to the House that these proven and effective nutrition programs need to be spared from further cuts which will result in the loss of millions of meals this year" and said that the co-signers were "important champions for older people in their Districts and the nation."

A copy of the letter can be seen here.

NANASP President, Paul Downey Testifies Before Senate Primary Health and Aging Subcommittee

June 19, 2013 - Today in what NANASP President Paul Downey called an ‘encouraging day’ NANASP participated in two Senate events related to the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. This morning President Paul Downey testified at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee. The Subcommittee is chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders ( D-VT). Also in attendance were Ranking Member Senator Richard Burr (R-NC); Senator Tammy Baldwin (D- WI); Senator Elizabeth Warren ( D-Mass); Senator Chris Murphy ( D-Conn.) and Senator Al Franken ( D-Minn.)

In his testimony Downey conveyed NANASP’s support for S 1028 the Older Americans Act reauthorization introduced by Chairman Bernie Sanders with 17 co-sponsors saying his bill “represents a critical opportunity to stand up for seniors and let them know Congress has their back’.   Downey reiterated NANASP’s long held view that the Older Americans Act is not just a social and human service program but “also a preventive health program.  It also has strong return on investment.” 

Downey specifically supported the Sanders bill language maintaining separate congregate and home delivered meal programs in the OAA and maintaining voluntary contributions.

Finally, Downey called for an end to sequestration ‘as soon as possible.’ He continued,  ‘Exempt those programs which clearly serve the most vulnerable of our society, such as the OAA nutrition program.  We have gone from being providers of meals to arbiters of who goes hungry and that is wrong.

CLICK HERE to View/Download Today’s Hearing/Testimony

“Don’t Empty My Plate” Paper Plate Campaign!

In support of NANASP’s resolution to support the end of sequestration no
later than September 30, 2013 (or the exemption of senior nutrition
programs from sequestration) and in opposition to further funding cuts,
NANASP is initiating a tried and true Paper Plate Campaign to our
Congressional delegations and local media. Called “Don’t Empty My Plate,” the
Campaign is an avenue for older American recipients to have direct input into
advocacy and to help put a face on the issue.

Who will be involved?

Providers, Older Americans, Staff and Friends

What will you need?

  • A small area designated for letter writing and drawing
  • Plain paper plates (we recommend buying an economy-sized bag)
  • Pens/Markers
  • Camera

How will this work?

During the week of June 17th, ask seniors to fill out paper plates with
messages to their congressperson about the importance of OAA funding/food
assistance to them. This should be personal and clear, but could be anything.

  • Don’t empty my plate!
  • Stop the sequester!
  • Please don’t cut our program!
  • This means a lot to me and so many others!

Write the name and zip code of your agency on the back of each plate along
with number of seniors served daily.

Take photos of senior(s) with plate and/or stack of display plates.

For homebound seniors, have delivery drivers bring along plates, markers,
and a camera on their routes. Collect plates from homebound seniors and
take photos of them holding their plates too!

Send photo(s) to Meredith Ponder at NANASP
( by June 24th! Be sure to include any
updated information on the impact your agency is facing as an impact of
(meals, jobs, smaller orders to vendors). NANASP will
compile and distribute electronically to members of Congress.

Schedule a date to deliver the plates to your local officials or invite them to
your program to see them during the 4th of July Recess (July 1-5). Also
consider doing a media event featuring the plates and seniors.

Sample photo ideas

A Letter to the President of the United States asking for his support in initiating legislation to authorize a White House Conference on Aging.


Statement By Bob Blancato On Part D Senior Satisfaction Rate

Washington, D.C. (October 3, 2012) – Bob Blancato, executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, today released the following statement regarding the annual Medicare Part D satisfaction survey conducted by Medicare Today and KRC Research:

“At a time when seniors are increasingly focused on their health care, it should come as no surprise that Medicare Part D is favored by 90 percent of beneficiaries. Since its implementation in 2006, millions of seniors have been able to access life-saving medications that address costly and debilitating chronic diseases. One statistic that caught my attention in the latest results is that more than 6 out of 10 seniors would be unable to fill their prescriptions without Part D in place.

“NANASP will continue to strongly support Medicare reform policies that strengthen Medicare Part D, while ensuring it serves as a model for the future of health care. With 10,000 seniors turning 65 every day, we must do everything in our power to keep them healthy and productive. Six years after implementation, today’s survey results are a reminder that Part D is working well and meeting the needs of the millions of seniors who rely on it every day.”

A Letter to Melanie Bella, Director, Federal Coordinated Care Office at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regarding proposed changes which could impact those older adults who are also dual eligibles.


May is Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month, a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our communities. Since 1963, communities across the nation have come together to celebrate Older Americans Month—a proud tradition that shows our nation’s commitment to recognizing the contributions and achievements of older Americans. For more information visit

40th Anniversary of the Elderly Nutrition Programs

The National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs made part of the OAA on March 22, 1972.

Few if any federal programs in history have performed as effectively for the people it serves than the nutrition programs. Few if any federal programs in history have been as good an investment of the taxpayer dollar as the nutrition programs. According to Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kathy Greenlee, since 1972, eight billion meals have been served to older Americans. Every day an older adult participates in either the congregate or home-delivered meals programs means they are able to remain in their communities and homes, maintain their independence and not face the prospect of hospital or nursing home placement due to malnutrition or hunger.

The future of the nutrition programs may rest on demonstrating the return on investment it provides each and every year and allowing it to expand and become a more integral part of our home and community-based long-term care strategy as well as our health, prevention and wellness strategies for older adults. Dollars invested in the Older Americans Act especially its largest program, the nutrition programs will more than be offset by savings that will be achieved to both Medicaid and Medicare in terms of costs associated with hospital and nursing home care. The Congregate Nutrition Services and Home‐Delivered Nutrition Services provide food and socialization for older adults in their own homes or in the community, for about $1,300 per year. This $1,300 per year is the same as the cost of six days in a nursing home or one day of hospitalization.

We salute the visionaries in the White House and Congress who in 1972 saw the need for this program. We thank those in succeeding Administrations and Congresses who have continued their support of the programs and are addressing its future. We pay tribute to our members and all those dedicated men and women in the national aging network who by their daily work have contributed to the success story of these programs and of course we salute the older adults who participate and benefit from these programs each and every day. They are older adults who are committed to better nutrition being the key to better health.

On this occasion we acknowledge a rich and positive past 40 years and look with optimism toward a bright and successful future.

Senator Sanders Releases Bill to Reauthorize the Older Americans Act

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced a bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which supports Meals on Wheels and other essential programs for seniors.

"We are at a critical moment. We must give seniors the support they need to stay healthy in their homes and communities," said Sanders, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging. Originally enacted in 1965, the landmark law was the first initiative by the federal government to provide comprehensive assistance to seniors enabling them to remain independent in their homes and communities. Programs provided through the law are needed now more than ever before as 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. One in five older Americans today survives on an average income of only $7,500 a year, so the need is greater than ever for Older Americans Act services such as meals, home-care, help coordinating long-term care, job training, and legal services.

Sanders stressed that programs for seniors actually save taxpayer dollars by reducing health care expenses, a point echoed by Max Richtman, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. "These programs also save federal and state government resources from being spent on sometimes unnecessary and often much more expensive care in hospitals and nursing homes," he said.

Under one of the major initiatives in the reauthorization measure, the Bureau of Labor Statistics would be instructed to improve how it calculates inflation for the elderly to more accurately reflect out-of-pocket expenses for health care and prescription drugs. A cost-of-living measure tailored to the real-world expenses of seniors could be used to make more accurate annual adjustments in Social Security benefits, for example. The Alliance for Retired Americans said that the provision in Sanders' bill is "vital to the health and economic security of millions of older Americans and their families." The bill also would clarify the legal definition of "economic security" to encompass the income necessary to pay for housing, health care, transportation, food, long-term care, and other basic needs. The measure also would streamline and strengthen the meals programs, authorizing a 50 percent boost in funding.

The bill would help modernize senior centers by creating a pilot program and community planning grant program. The legislation also devotes more help for seniors looking for jobs. Another significant improvement would be to the long-term care ombudsman program, which protects the rights of people living in nursing homes. To read letters from groups supporting the bill, click here.

Yesterday Senator Sanders spoke about his bill on the floor. Watch here--

NANASP released the following statement:

NANASP, the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs today indicated its strong support for the Older Americans Act reauthorization bill introduced by Chairman Bernie Sanders of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging. NANASP President Paul Downey said “NANASP commends both the bill and the process used by the Subcommittee to develop the bill. Their commitment to obtaining stakeholder input was strong and consistent. We also note that the one hearing held by the Subcommittee was on the nutrition programs. In terms of the bill, we are pleased at the provisions which improve and streamline the nutrition programs while making sure that nutrition dollars are protected to a greater extent.”

In addition, NANASP was pleased that the bill preserves the dual mission of SCSEP, the Senior Community Service Employment Program and increases the opportunity for low-income older adults to serve their community, including helping other seniors.

NANASP appreciates Senator Sanders’ leadership and looks forward to continuing to work with the Subcommittee throughout this reauthorization process.

Senior Centers May Require New Fees

Thursday, 15 December 2011
By NBC New York
Publication & Publisher: NBC New York

Seniors may have to reach into their pockets and pay when they sit down for a meal at senior centers -- a proposal by the Obama administration will require visitors to reach into their pockets before sitting down to eat. Even that small amount of money could be too much for those living on a fixed income.
Melissa Russo reports.

Ask Your Members of Congress to Sign the OAA Pledge

Last week, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) announced their OAA Reauthorization Pledge drive. NANASP is pleased to be a National Cosponsor of this campaign. With NCOA, we are asking that every lawmaker signs a Pledge to Protect and Strengthen the Older Americans Act (OAA). The OAA funds critical services that help seniors stay healthy and independent. Now is the time to push your Senators and Representatives to commit to protecting and strengthening the OAA. To ask your member of Congress to sign the Pledge please CLICK HERE.

NANASP Encourages You to Participate in FOOD DAY

NANASP encourages you to participate in the national celebration, FOOD DAY on October 24, 2011. Folks from coast-to-coast are sponsoring and participating in fun events that are encouraging Americans to “eat real” to support healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way. More information is available at Local host groups are also listed to locate the coordinators in your area.

FOOD DAY is a grassroots campaign backed by many champions of sustainable farming including: Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Farmers Market Coalition, and the Farm to School Network. There are also terrific representatives from the broader food movement: author Michael Pollan, renowned nutrition expert Marion Nestle and restaurateur Alice Waters (great recipes). More information is available at

Suggestions for the Senior Nutrition Program providers include host cooking demonstrations at senior centers, hold a special cooking class or class series the week of FOOD DAY, hold an Iron Chef type competition with some of the chefs/students from your program to raise money for meals on wheels, working with local farmers markets and produce companies to have a Day at the Market at your center, host a movie screening (see movie suggestions) or have a special class series for Making Meals for One or Two or Just for Men! It would also be great if you could publicize FOOD DAY on any social media, blogs and your programs newsletters.

NANASP President Paul Downey's Presentation at the Senate HELP

On Thursday, August 25th, NANASP President Paul Downey presented at the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions). Primary Health and Aging Subcommittee Older Americans Act Reauthorization listening session on nutrition. Read his statement here.

NANASP Executive Director Testifies before the Senate HELP Subcommittee

On Tuesday, June 21st, NANASP Executive Director Bob Blancato testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging. Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) serves as Chair of the Subcommittee and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is Ranking Member. The hearing “Senior Hunger and the Older Americans Act” focused on the increase in senior hunger, the health effects of malnutrition and the resulting cost to our health care system. The hearing also assessed programs authorized in Title III of the OAA. In addition to Blancato, Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kathy Greenlee testified along with NANASP member Ken Gordon, Executive Director, Area Agency on Aging for Northeastern Vermont, St. Johnsbury, VT. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A COPY OF BOB BLANCATO’S TESTIMONY. Testimony and archived videos are posted at:




NANASP Executive Director Bob Blancato Responds to the Republican Budget Resolution

Recorded April 6, 2011








NANASP Advocacy Begins at Home Grant Opportunity

NANASP is seeking proposals from NANASP members for the development and implementation of local Advocacy Plans, which compliment and strengthen NANASP national advocacy efforts. CLICK HERE to download more information about this unique grant opportunity now!

NANASP’s legislative advocacy priorities are:

  • The reauthorization of the Older Americans Act.
  • Funding for the Older Americans Act and related aging service programs for Fiscal Year 2012.
  • Legislation to repeal or modify the Independent Medicare Advisory Board created under the Affordable Care Act.

DESCRIPTION: NANASP will award up to five (5) grants; the grants will range from $2,500 to $5,000 per grant and be awarded to NANASP members in good standing who submit a Local Advocacy Plan that demonstrates commitment and capacity to accomplish the Plan’s initiatives. Commitment and capacity shall be demonstrated in the following four categories:

  1. Capacity to directly communicate with their U.S. Representative and/or U.S. Senators. Special consideration will be given to an applicant who can secure a local meeting with (or site visit from) their Representative or Senator prior to or immediately after the Annual Conference as well as who schedules and confirms a meeting in Washington during the NANASP annual conference
  2. Capacity and commitment to do advocacy or to develop that commitment and capacity through training or other means.
  3. Capacity and commitment to build a collaborative advocacy partnership with other organizations in their local region that focus on NANASP’s legislative priorities.
  4. Commitment to provide a status report on their advocacy plan implementation at the NANASP 2011 Annual Conference (applicants must be current NANASP members in good standing and be registered for the 2011 NANASP Annual Conference)

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent by May 10, 2011 and a completed Local Advocacy Plan by May 30, 2011 to NANASP electronically at

The Letter of Intent should not exceed two (2) pages and shall concisely specify an applicant’s capacity to accomplish its advocacy initiatives in relation to NANASP’s legislative priorities.

  1. The Local Advocacy Plan shall contain the following:
  2. Description and timetable of advocacy initiative objectives
  3. Specification on how the advocacy objectives will be measured
  4. Detailed description of the capacity and commitment to the four categories listed above in Description section
  5. Description of past advocacy efforts and their efficacy

FUNDING: Funding will be provided in two installments. The first half the grant will be distributed upon award of the grant by NANASP and the second portion upon receipt of the final status report. For additional information, please contact us at 202-682-6899.


NANASP Executive Director Bob Blancato Responds to the President’s FY 2012 Budget

Recorded February 15, 2011

Coming Soon! A NANASP Members’ Only Benefit - Recorded messages and webinars from NANASP Executive Director, Bob Blancato.







President’s FY 2012 Budget Shows Boost for Older Americans Act but Flat Funding for Nutrition

WASHINGTON, DC – On February 14, 2011, President Obama released his FY 2012 budget. Funding for the Older Americans Act is proposed to increase by more than $700 million from FY 2010. This includes the transfer of the SCSEP program into the Administration on Aging (but with a cut of 45 percent from FY 2010 levels), a new office to administer the CLASS Act and new funds to implement programs under the Elder Justice Act. The budget also proposes increases for family caregivers and home and community-based services under Title III B.

For the first time in his Administration, the President did not propose an increase for the nutrition programs keeping them flat funded for FY 2012. In response, NANASP President Paul Downey said, “ While the overall budget increase provided to the Administration on Aging is significant and far reaching, we remain disappointed that the largest program in the Act and which serves more of the elderly in need was not included for an increase. This same program less than 2 years ago was deemed worthy of emergency funding from the economic stimulus bill. The need was there before and it continues today. The advocacy efforts will immediately move to the Congress to allow our programs a chance to get the essential increase they need.”


Final FY 2010 Budget

Obama’s FY 2012 Proposed Budget

Older Americans Act

$1.557 billion

$2.251 billion

SCSEP (older workers)

$825 million

$450 million

Home & Community-Based Supportive Services (Title III B)

$368 million

$416 million

Congregate Meals

$441 million

$441 million

Home Delivered Meals

$218 million

$218 million

Nutrition Services Incentive Program

$161 million

$161 million

National Family Caregiver Support Services

$154 million

$192 million

Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect

$5 million 

$5 million

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (Elder Justice Act)

$17 million

$22 million

Native American Nutrition & Supportive Services

$28 million

$28 million

Native American Caregiver Support Services

$6 million

$8 million

Preventive Health Services

$21 million

$21 million

Alzheimer’s Demonstration Grants

$11 million

$11 million

Aging network support activities

$8 million

$8 million

Lifespan respite care program

$3 million

$10 million

Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC)

$10 million

$13 million

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program


$10 million

Adult Protective Services (Elder Justice Act)


$17 million

Senior Medicare Patrol Program


$10 million

Elder Rights Support Activities


$4 million

CLASS Program Administration


$120 million

State Health Insurance Assistance Program


$47 million

Social Services Block Grant

$1.7 billion

$1.7 billion

Community Services Block Grant

$700 million

$350 million



FY 2010


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


$58.278 billion

$73.183 billion

Commodity Supplemental Feeding Program


$183 million

$176 million

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program


$22 million

$20 million

The U.S. Administration on Aging Awards the Strengthening the Aging Network: An Opportunity for Training and Evaluation Cooperative Agreement to the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) awarded an 18-month cooperative agreement to the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD) to increase the capacity of State Units on Aging (SUA) across the country in playing stronger leadership roles in the development and implementation of modernized systems of long term services and supports (LTSS). NASUAD’s key partners on this cooperative agreement are AoA, AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI), the Center for Health Care Strategies, Elder Justice Coalition, The Lewin Group, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the National Council on Aging, the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Programs, and the National Council on Independent Living. In collaboration with its key partners, NASUAD plans to design and implement an intensive training for SUA directors and their senior staffs. This will be timely as there are 37 gubernatorial elections in 2010 with an estimated number of 30 new governorships that will potentially result in 30 new SUA directors. Topics for the training program include, but are not limited to, the administration of programs under the Older Americans Act, Titles XVIII and XIX of the Social Security Act, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA); the legislative and budgeting processes; fostering strategic partnerships with the disability community; civic engagement; and system reengineering strategies to rebalance LTSS.

Under this cooperative agreement, NASUAD and its key partners will also gather information about current performance standards used by states to measure the impact of their LTSS systems. This activity will be valuable in identifying how states’ evaluation methodology reflect the current Administration priorities in assessing a plethora of areas including single point of entry systems, options counseling, and core competencies for senior level policy and program staff. Lastly, NASUAD and AARP PPI will design and administer an evaluation tool that will assess SUA’s progress in key areas of systems change. Such an understanding of systems change progress in SUAs would inform AoA and the Administration’s efforts in the planning and implementation of the various provisions of PPACA. NANASP looks forward to collaborating with NASUAD and its key partners and SUAs during the next 18 months as it carries out this cooperative agreement.

NANASP President testifies at Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing

On August 27, 2010 NANASP President Paul Downey, presented testimony on nutrition programs to the Senate Special Committee on Aging Hearing on the 2011 Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. For a copy of Downey’s testimony, please CLICK HERE.

NCOA Poster

September is Senior Center Month.

The National Council on Aging has valuable resources to help you celebrate! Download our free Program Guide with examples of successful activities. Members of the National Institute of Senior Centers also get our Publicity Guide with tips and sample documents to attract media and elected officials. Download free resources then join NISC to get even more!






NANASP Congratulates Executive Director Bob Blancato on Presentation of 2010 Arthur S. Flemming Award

Irene Collins and Robert BlancatoOn June 29, 2010, NASUA President and Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Senior Services, Irene Collins, presented Mr. Robert B. Blancato with the 2010 Arthur S. Flemming award, telling him, "NASUA is pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate your ongoing efforts to champion the rights of older Americans. Your dedication to the Elder Justice Act, and your perseverance in successfully advocating for its inclusion in health reform, are true testaments to the impact that you have on the lives of older Americans." Established by the NASUA Board in 1978 to honor its namesake, since its inception, the Arthur S. Flemming Award has recognized notable leaders whose work has positively impacted the lives of older Americans and people with disabilities. As a devoted public servant, staunch advocate, and national expert on aging-related public policy, Mr. Blancato continues this tradition.

With more than 30 years in the public sector, Mr. Blancato has served as both Staff Director and Senior Advisor of the House Select Committee on Aging’s Subcommittee on Human Services. He was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton to serve as Executive Director of the 1995 White House Conference on Aging, and was appointed again ten years later to serve on the Policy and Executive Committees of the 2005 Conference. Most recently, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine asked Mr. Blancato to serve as Chairman of the Commonwealth Council on Aging in Virginia. Linda Nablo, Commissioner of the Virginia Department for the Aging, praises Mr. Blancato’s appointment to the Council, "Through his boundless energy, commitment, and contacts, he is strengthening and expanding the work of the Council, including securing, for the first time, funding to support the Council’s Best Practice awards for innovative services to seniors."

Mr. Blancato's commitment to improving the lives of older Americans transcends his time in public service. His numerous advocacy efforts and coalition involvements underscore his pivotal role in the aging community and beyond. In addition to his efficacy in securing the inclusion of The Elder Justice Act in The Affordable Care Act, he has worked for many years to promote the importance of, and elevate awareness for, elder justice in America, both as a past President and current Executive Committee member of the National Committee for the Prevention on Elder Abuse, and as the National Coordinator of the Elder Justice Coalition. He has been on numerous boards, including the American Society on Aging, Generations United, and the Leadership Council of the National Council on Aging. Mr. Blancato currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, and he is also President of Matz, Blancato & Associates, a full-service firm integrating strategic consulting, government affairs, advocacy services, and association and coalition management.

NASUA congratulates Mr. Blancato on receiving the 2010 Arthur S. Flemming award, and applauds his continuing enthusiasm for, and contributions to, public service, advocacy, and the field of aging.

National Association of State Units on Aging, founded in 1964, represents the nation’s 56 officially designated state and territorial agencies on aging. The Association’s principal mission is to support visionary state leadership, advance state systems innovation and articulate a national policy on home and community based services for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization Forums Update

On March 3, NANASP President elect Paul Downey testified at the third and final AOA sponsored Older Americans Act reauthorization forum held in San Francisco. As the only witness representing the national nutrition network, Downey discussed the importance of the nutrition program at both the national and local level. Paul also serves as the President/CEO of Senior Community Centers in San Diego.

In his statement, Paul on behalf of NANASP called on the base funding level for the nutrition programs to be set at the level as a result of the $100 million provided by the 2009 ARRA bill. He also called for consideration to be given to consolidation of the nutrition programs; limiting transfer of funds between the nutrition and supportive service program; a possible moving of the existing health promotion program into the nutrition program and some separate set aside of funds for transportation services.

For a copy of Downey’s full statement, please CLICK HERE.

AoA held a session on the OAA Reauthorization at the joint ASA/NCOA conference on March 16th in Chicago. At that forum NANASP Executive Director, Bob Blancato participated in his role as co-chair of the ASA Public Policy Committee along with other representatives from other national aging groups. To view Blancato’s remarks CLICK HERE. Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kathy Greenlee was in attendance and also made remarks about the OAA reauthorization process.

On February 25th, the second OAA 2011 Reauthorization Listening Forum was held in Alexandria, VA. NANASP Board member Dr. Shirley Chao gave testimony on the nutrition programs. Bob Blancato presented testimony on elder justice and elder rights including its relationship to the nutrition programs. NANASP serves as a member of the Elder Justice Coalition. For a copy of Blancato’s testimony, please CLICK HERE.

On February 12th, an AOA recognized Forum on Nutrition was held in Boston organized in large measure by NANASP Board member Dr. Shirley Chao. NANASP Executive Director Bob Blancato presented a keynote address on issues related to the 2011 reauthorization and nutrition. NANASP Board Members Chandra Ganapathy and Stephanie Belding also attending the forum.

Save the Dates: OAA Reauthorization Forums

In advance of the 2011 reauthorization of the Older Americans Act (OAA), the Administration on Aging plans to convene a series of listening forums early in 2010 to get input from the aging network, stakeholders, policymakers, and older Americans on key issues.

Forums are scheduled as follows:

  • Dallas (Regions IV, VI, VII, and Title VI) on Feb. 18
  • Washington, DC, Metro Area (Regions I, II, and V) on Feb. 25
  • San Francisco (Regions VIII, IX, X, and Title VI) on March 3
  • Chicago (Aging in America Conference) on March 16

Read more.

NANASP Joins Forces with Seniors to Seniors to Educate Seniors About Health Care Reform

Seniors to Seniors is a coalition of senior citizen, labor and provider organizations all committed to educating seniors about what the current health care reform legislation means for them once it is implemented. The coalition's goal is to help filter through the clutter and the hype to educate seniors about how health reform will help keep doctors in Medicare, stop physician payment cuts, improve long-term care choices, keep Medicare affordable, and close the prescription drug "doughnut hole." For more information visit

NANASP Announces Partnership with U.S. Census Bureau

NANASP is pleased to announce we will be partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to support the 2010 Census and the effort to achieve a complete and accurate count of our nation’s growing population. Our organization strives daily to improve the lives and welfare of people in our community, many of whom are experiencing hardships related to economic status, language fluency, disabilities or more. Our support of the 2010 Census is another example of our commitment to help improve the quality of life in our community.

Every year, the federal government distributes more than $400 billion to state, local and
tribal governments based on census data. In addition to determining political representation, the 2010 Census will help leaders:

  • identify where to build new roads, schools, hospitals and more.
  • indicate where funding is needed to enhance important community initiatives and programs.
  • provide more efficient local emergency services thanks to better maps and information.

In addition, accurate census data aid our organization with grant writing, and help us to
target our services and ensure maximum benefit to those we serve.

In 2010, every person living in the United States must be counted. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and noncitizens. As a 2010 Census partner, our goal is to relay the ease, importance and safety of census participation to our community, and we encourage you to do the same. Census forms will be delivered or mailed to households in March 2010; households should complete and mail back their forms upon receipt. One of the shortest census forms in history, the 2010 Census form asks 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

We will keep you informed with the latest information about the 2010 Census in the upcoming months. In the meantime, you can visit to learn more. Also, please don't hesitate to contact Shannon Donahue at with any questions about our partnership with the Census Bureau and what it means for our organization.

Urge Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Elder Justice Act

Elder Justice Now uses the power of video and the Internet to put a human face on elder abuse. Watch the new campaign documentary "An Age for Justice: Elder Abuse in America" or browse through compelling video stories from victims, survivors and advocates that build the case for passage of the Elder Justice Act. You can share the documentary or the stories with your friends or colleagues by using the buttons on the bottom of the page or your member of Congress by going to Take Action.

NANASP Board Meets with US Assistant Secretary for Aging and Key Members of Congress

Bob Blancato and U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee

The National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) Board of Directors met with U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee in Washington D.C. on November 5th. In her remarks to the Board, Secretary Greenlee focused on the importance of the nutrition program as one of the core programs of the Older Americans Act. She also referred to the link between the nutrition programs and health. NANASP board members spoke with her about the upcoming 2011 reauthorization of the Older Americans Act and offered NANASP as a resource as they begin to plan for this important process.

Kathy J. Greenlee was sworn-in by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius on June 29, 2009. She was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 4, 2009 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as the 4th Assistant Secretary for Aging at the Department of Health and Human Services on June 25, 2009. Ms. Greenlee served as Kansas' Secretary of Aging, heading a cabinet-level agency whose mission is to promote the security, dignity and independence of Kansas seniors. KDOA is responsible for administration of Older Americans Act programs, distribution of Medicaid long-term care payments and regulation of nursing home licensure and survey processes. Greenlee had previously served as the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman in Kansas, as well as the state's Assistant Secretary of Aging, with the responsibilities of legislative liaison and chief budget officer.

The Board also met with members of Congress on Capitol Hill to discuss key NANASP priorities on November 6th. Board members made a total of 19 hill visits during their time in D.C. and focused their meetings on the following NANASP priority issues: the White House Conference on Food and Nutrition, Labor-HHS and Agriculture Appropriations, the Elder Justice Act, Health Care Reform, and the Older Americans Act 2011 Reauthorization. Board members received much in the way of feedback from the Congressional offices they visited and overall, the visits were very positive.