May 31, 2019

Manchin Delivers Meals, Attends Lunch In Hamlin To Show The Importance Of Senior Nutrition Programs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), today delivered meals to residents and spoke with seniors at a lunch at the Senior Citizen Center in Hamlin. These events highlight the importance of senior nutrition programs to senior citizens across the state. At lunch, Senator Manchin emphasized programs like Meals on Wheels and other home-based meal programs which are crucial to states with senior populations like West Virginia.

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

Senator Manchin has been a long-time advocate for these senior nutrition programs. During his time as governor, he purchased hot and cold food trucks for senior centers in every county across the state of West Virginia. Last week, Senator 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. In West Virginia we invest based on your priorities, and my priority has always been to take care of seniors,” said Senator Manchin. “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.”

Gary Tabor, 70, of Hamlin, and his wife, Terry, have been receiving home-delivered meals for five years. Gary Tabor served three tours in Vietnam, and said Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals since he is unable to cook for himself.

"I can't get around a gas stove where I'm on oxygen," Gary Tabor said. "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."

“Meals on Wheels programs across the country may drive hundreds of miles per week to deliver home-delivered meals, and their ability to do so safely and reliably is paramount to helping vulnerable seniors remain healthy and safe in their own homes and out of costly care facilities. 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. We commend Senator Manchin for introducing this legislation and recognizing the need for all of us to support the community-based programs working day-in and day-out to serve our nation’s most at-risk older adults,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels America.