Cicilline Delivers Nutritious Meals to Rhode Island Seniors

Monday, March 17, 2014

PAWTUCKET, RI - U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today delivered healthy meals to low-income Rhode Island seniors in North Providence as part of Meals On Wheels' 12th Annual March for Meals campaign.  

Meals On Wheels Home Delivered Meal program is the only non-profit meal delivery service in Rhode Island and its staff and volunteers serve nearly 1,500 meals each day.  The program is partially funded through the federal Elderly Nutrition Program, which supports community-based services that help older Americans who may be at risk of losing their independence.

“Meals On Wheels is a critical program that provides homebound seniors nutritious food and positive human contact,” said Cicilline.  “Preserving programs that help seniors live independent, healthy lives are good for local communities and the families that depend on them.”

“Our senior clients were thrilled to have a meal delivered to their doorstep by the Congressman! We appreciate his participation year after year in our March For Meals campaign.” said Heather Amaral, Executive Director. “We appreciate Congressman Cicilline’s ongoing support of our program and the seniors we serve.  Our clients are counting on us to continue providing a healthy meal and friendly visit each day.  We can’t let them down!” 

Last year, as a result of the across the board spending cuts known as sequestration, the Elderly Nutrition Program suffered a five percent budget cut.  According to the White House, this threatened to cause 4 million fewer meals to be delivered and put at risk tens of thousands of dollars of critical funding for services in Rhode Island.  Cicilline, who worked to undo sequestration as a member of the House Budget Committee supported the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which restored the Elderly Nutrition Program to its pre-sequestration funding level and was signed into law earlier this year.  Cicilline is also a cosponsor of the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2014, which would extend funding for the Elderly Nutrition Program and other senior assistance programs through 2018.

"The Older Americans Act has been underfunded for too long,” said Cicilline, who advocated for increased funding in last year’s budget negotiations.  “As our senior population continues to grow, I will keep working to support evidence-based programs that help older Americans live in dignity, maintain healthy lifestyles, and remain independent.”

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