Bonamici Visits St. Helens Senior Center, Denounces Cuts to Meals on Wheels
St. Helens, Ore. – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) today visited the St. Helens Senior Center to talk with seniors about cuts to federally funded home-delivered nutrition programs, like Meals on Wheels. Automatic across-the-board spending cuts will result in 7,000 fewer meals served by the Community Action Team program in Columbia, Clatsop, and Tillamook counties. Bonamici has sponsored legislation to repeal the cuts and will soon lead efforts to pass a continuation of the Older Americans Act, which authorizes the program.
“The across-the-board spending cuts that took effect earlier this year are having a real impact on Oregon’s seniors,” said Bonamici. “For some, the Meals on Wheels program delivers the only hot meal they’ll receive on any given day. Oregon lost nearly $700,000 in funding for this program, and thousands of meals in Columbia County will not be served as a result.”
“Every time the budget gets cut we try do more with less, but the fact remains that thousands of meals will not get served and that means seniors will go hungry,” said Jim Tierney, Executive Director of Community Action Team. “We’re thankful that Congresswoman Bonamici stopped by today to meet us and the seniors who are hurt by these cuts.”
The Meals on Wheels program provides meals to homebound seniors over 60 and their spouses or dependent, disabled adult children. The program is designed to promote better health among the senior and homebound population, with a goal of ending hunger. Meals on Wheels provides both nutrition and support to keep individuals in their own homes, reducing the likelihood of institutionalization. Meal delivery volunteers also provide social contact to those who may otherwise be homebound and isolated.