*DOWNLOADABLE VIDEO: Spanberger Highlights Stories of Virginians Served by Meals on Wheels, Urges Colleagues to Vote Against Cuts to Funding**
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today shared stories she received from Virginians who have either themselves received meals from Meals on Wheels or have a loved one who relies on the program.
Following recent reports that the U.S. House Republican Conference’s debt limit plan would threaten senior meal delivery programs, including Meals on Wheels, Spanberger launched a new survey to hear from Virginians who rely on these programs. Today, she highlighted a few of those stories, spoke in support of continued funding for senior meal delivery programs, and urged her colleagues to protect Virginians and Americans across the country who depend on Meals on Wheels.
Click here to watch her remarks, and a full transcript of her comments is below.
Mister Speaker, I rise today to discuss the impact of the broad-brush cuts in Speaker McCarthy’s plan — a plan that would hurt Virginians, including $30 billion in cuts for Veterans spending that would hurt the Veterans I represent and cuts to the vital Meals on Wheels program that would hurt seniors across Virginia’s Seventh District.
To hear about the impact of this incredibly important program, I reached out to Virginians I serve about the program and I heard from hundreds of seniors, volunteers, doctors, and caregivers who have seen the benefits of Meals on Wheels.
Carolyn from Woodbridge, who lost her husband a year before breaking a hip and turning to Meals on Wheels for support, called the service, quote, “a true blessing as I heal.”
Anita from Fredericksburg, whose 94-year-old aunt relies on this program, said, quote, “Please vote against defunding Virginia’s senior meal delivery services.”
And when Shawn from Caroline County’s grandmother suffered a stroke, Meals on Wheels made sure she had lunch — so his parents would not have to quit their jobs to care for her.
At a time when thousands of Virginia seniors are at risk of hunger, the Meals on Wheels program should not be on the chopping block. I urge my colleagues to vote against this legislation.
In 48 hours, Spanberger’s office received hundreds of responses from Virginians who either have themselves been served or have a loved one who relies on senior meal delivery services.
Some of the additional responses submitted through her survey include:
“When my father was in his 80s and no longer able to cook for himself, Meals on Wheels brought food ready-to-eat to his home. I was very grateful, as I lived hundreds of miles away and could not help him on a regular basis. Meals on Wheels eased my mind greatly. I was very grateful.” — Winifred, Fredericksburg
“The meals provided to my 82 year old friend has been vital. There have been times when she does not have the opportunity to go out for groceries and has been able to get nutritious meals delivered to her. If she did not have this available, I don’t know how she would have been able to eat.” — Charly, Stafford County
“The program was a lifesaver, otherwise I would have gone hungry.” — Joyce, Madison County
“My mother, now deceased, received Meals on Wheels for several years. Because of her serious Arthritis, she had a lot of difficulty getting out and grocery shopping. Meals on Wheels were very important to her.” — Christina, Prince William County
“I am a physician and one of the most important programs for the elderly is Meals on Wheels! In light of the increase in food prices many seniors are not able to afford meals and their medications. A lot of seniors are living on inexpensive foods such as pasta which is not good for their health conditions. I believe Meals on Wheels is crucial to their health and allowing them to have a friendly face deliver it. I also have a lot of seniors who volunteer to deliver meals which is good for all.” — Donna, M.D., King George County
“I volunteered with RRCSB senior program in Culpeper. Home-bound elders without transportation receive food boxes through this program a few times a month. And the driver provides a visual check on the elder and a bit of conversation. This is priceless. What kind of person could take this away?” — Carol, Culpeper County
Virginians can click here to complete Spanberger’s brief survey.