Sen. Claxton introduces bill to bolster Meals on Wheels

Posted: March 18, 2021 | Health and Human Services, Senator Claxton

AUGUSTA – On Wednesday, Sen. Ned Claxton, D-Auburn, introduced a bill to provide funding to support Maine’s Meals on Wheels programs. LD 485, “An Act To Continue Funding for Home-delivered Meals for Homebound Seniors and To Address Growing Demand,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Committee on Health and Human Services.

“In a typical year, there are already too many older Mainers who are food insecure,” said Sen. Claxton. “This has been no ordinary year, however, and the number of folks who qualify for the program has increased at least 50%. Meals on Wheels and all the associated benefits, like wellness checks and socialization, are a crucial lifeline for many of our seniors. We need to do everything we can to support these incredible programs across our state.”

Maine’s Meals on Wheels programs are administered by Maine’s five Area Agencies on Aging and rely heavily on the work of community volunteers. The program provides hot and frozen meals to seniors who are unable to prepare their own food and gives an opportunity for wellness checks and conversation.

LD 485 would provide $3 million in funding over two years to the Office of Aging and Disability Services, which would then distribute funds to area agencies to run the program.

The bill faces further action in committee.