June 03, 2019

Manchin Visits Hamlin To Discuss Legislation Providing For Vehicles To Deliver Senior Meals | The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

HAMLIN, W.Va. — In a visit that aimed to highlight the importance of senior nutrition programs across West Virginia, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Friday delivered meals to residents and spoke with seniors at a lunch at the Senior Citizen Center in Hamlin.

During his stop, Manchin emphasized programs like Meals on Wheels and other home-based meal programs, according to a news release from his office.

In 2017 alone, 1.3 million meals were delivered to West Virginians as a result of these programs, which are a means of providing food for seniors who live alone or are disabled. Of the 1.3 million meals, 57% of those meals were delivered to seniors who lived alone and 61% were delivered to West Virginians over the age of 75.

Last week, according to the release, Manchin introduced a bill that would create a grant program for states to purchase, customize and repair vehicles used to deliver meals to seniors.

"I was honored to spend time today delivering meals to West Virginians and talking with seniors during lunch. Taking care of seniors has always been a priority of mine. When I was governor, I purchased hot and cold food trucks for all 55 counties. For me, this wasn't a cost or burden, but an investment," Manchin said in the release. "Which is why I introduced the HOME Meals Act last week, which will purchase, customize and repair vehicles that provide meals to senior members of our communities. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this legislation and take care of our seniors."

Meals on Wheels programs across the country may drive hundreds of miles per week to deliver meals, explained Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America, in the release.

"Yet such heavy mileage can take a significant toll on vehicles, leaving many in need of costly repairs or replacements that place an extra financial burden on resource-strapped programs."

Gary Tabor, 70, of Hamlin, and his wife, Terry, have been receiving home-delivered meals for five years.

"I can't get around a gas stove where I'm on oxygen," Gary Tabor said in the release. "It really means a lot to me. It helps keep me going. I think this program is great and I hope they keep it up. It would be bad if something happened and they had to drop it. It would be bad on a lot of people."


By:  Staff Writers