SHAHEEN: MEALS ON WHEELS BUDGET CUTS HURT NEW HAMPSHIRE SENIORS

During Meals on Wheels “Ride Along,” Shaheen stresses importance of program for seniors

December 04, 2013

 

(December 4, 2013 - Salem, NH - Senator Shaheen and Carol, Meals on Wheels beneficiary)

(Salem, NH) – This morning, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined staff and volunteers from Rockingham Nutrition and Meals on Wheels, Inc in Salem for a “ride along” to highlight the negative consequences of indiscriminate budget cuts on New Hampshire’s seniors.  During the ride along, Shaheen greeted New Hampshire seniors and heard firsthand about the importance of Meals on Wheels and other home food delivery programs as volunteers delivered meals to low income seniors.  

“Visits by Meals on Wheels volunteers brighten the days of many seniors and are a tremendously valuable contribution to Granite State communities,” Shaheen said. “It was great to hear directly from New Hampshire seniors and see firsthand the real impact of Meals on Wheels. These programs not only improve the lives of seniors in New Hampshire and across the country, but they reduce Medicaid and health care costs and help seniors live more healthy, independent lives.”

 “Indiscriminate budget cuts are shortsighted, will cost money in the long term and ultimately hurt seniors. We need to protect programs like Meals on Wheels and reverse the negative impacts of across the board cuts,” Shaheen added.

Rockingham Nutrition currently provides 1100 meals per week and served more than 3,000 local New Hampshire residents in 2012. Last year alone, Meals on Wheels delivered more than 1.2 million meals to 11,596 people in New Hampshire. These services are critical not only for improving the lives of seniors but also for reducing health care spending. The yearly cost of Meals on Wheels services for a single senior is the equivalent to the cost of nine days in a nursing home or just one to two days in a hospital.

Shaheen has been repeatedly cited for her opposition to sequestration’s indiscriminate cuts and has worked to replace these cuts with a balanced comprehensive budget agreement. Earlier this year, she voted for a bipartisan Senate budget resolution that would rein in the country’s debt and deficit while protecting vital programs.