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Call to Action

(June 2021) QUICK ACTION NEEDED TO ADVOCATE FOR INCREASED OAA FUNDING: ASK YOUR SENATORS TO SIGN DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER

Following the release of the President’s $1.5 trillion budget request to Congress two weeks ago, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations process is now in full swing. This budget proposal includes increased funding levels for a number of programs that provide critical support for older adults in need, including for the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Program. Our ask to Congress: Build upon the President’s proposal and double funding for senior nutrition programs in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS-Ed) Appropriations Bill.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is circulating a call for his colleagues to sign onto a letter urging increased funding for all programs authorized under the OAA in FY 2022. This letter will be sent to the Senate Labor-HHS-Ed Appropriations Subcommittee, which is responsible for negotiating and proposing funding levels for the OAA. The letter requests this Subcommittee provide a total of $4.26 billion for OAA programs in the next fiscal year – double the FY 2021 levels – to better meet the demand for, and cost of, services. Now, you have an exciting opportunity to reach out to your Senators to add their names to this letter!

Contact your Senators today to encourage them to sign onto this Dear Colleague letter by Thursday, June 17 and express their support for increased OAA funding.

Below are instructions on how you can get in touch with your Senators in just a few minutes and ask them to sign on to this letter:

  1. Find your Senators here (Senators representing California are Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla). You can also dial the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be directly connected to their office.
  2. Call and/or email them today asking them to sign Senator Sanders’ Dear Colleague letter supporting OAA programs, like Meals on Wheels, using the provided call script and email template below.

CALL SCRIPT

Hello. My name is [INSERT YOUR NAME], calling you from [INSERT YOUR CITY]. I’m calling to ask the Senator to sign onto the Dear Colleague letter supporting funding for Older Americans Act programs, like Meals on Wheels. The Older Americans Act provides social and nutritional services to your senior constituents who are at significant risk of hunger, isolation, and losing their ability to live independently. This Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations request would begin to fund these critical programs at the levels needed to address a rapidly growing aging population.

Contact Michaela Brown with Senator Sanders’ office at Michaela_Brown@help.senate.gov by Thursday, June 17 to add your boss’ signature to the growing list. The seniors in our state are counting on the Senator for their continued support. Thank you for your time and consideration.

EMAIL TEMPLATE

Subject: June 17 Deadline – FY22 Dear Colleague Supporting Meals on Wheels & Seniors

My name is [INSERT YOUR NAME] from [INSERT YOUR CITY]. I’m writing today to ask the Senator to sign on to the Dear Colleague letter circulating from Senator Sanders (I-VT) urging the Labor-HHS-Ed Subcommittee to support a total level of $4.26 billion in funding for Older Americans Act programs in FY 2022. This funding will help maintain the levels of service provided during the pandemic and will need to continue long after it is behind us, as well as begin to address the needs of a historically growing aging and caregiving population. The deadline for signatures is Thursday, June 17.

The Older Americans Act supports programs like Meals on Wheels and provides social and nutrition services for seniors who are at significant risk of hunger, isolation, and losing their ability to live independently. With approximately 12,000 individuals turning 60 every day, and nearly 9.7 million seniors struggling with hunger before COVID-19 hit, current funding levels are simply not enough to close our nation’s growing gap between seniors in need of services and seniors served.

Again, the deadline to sign on is Thursday, June 17. You or your colleagues may add the Senator’s signature to the growing list by contacting Michaela_Brown@help.senate.gov. The seniors in our state are counting on the support. Thank you again for your time and consideration.