Senate enacts Claxton bill to provide funding for Meals on Wheels programs
AUGUSTA – On Monday, April 25, a bill from Sen. Ned Claxton, D-Auburn, was enacted by the Maine Senate. The bill, LD 485, “An Act To Continue Funding for Home-delivered Meals for Homebound Seniors and To Address Growing Demand,” would provide funding to reimburse area agencies on aging for the Meals on Wheels program.
“So many seniors rely on the Meals on Wheels programs in Maine, whether it be on a short-term or long-term basis,” said Sen. Claxton. “It’s more than just meals, too. Especially over the last couple years, the visits and interaction that come with the meal deliveries have been incredibly valuable for those who may find themselves isolated in their homes. Ensuring that our local agencies can continue to operate their Meals on Wheels programs is critical. I thank my many colleagues for their work on this critical measure.”
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 programs provide hot and frozen meals to seniors who are unable to prepare their own food and gives an opportunity for wellness checks and conversation.
As amended, LD 485 will allocate $250,000 in funding to Maine’s area agencies on aging that operate Meals on Wheels programs in order to better reimburse accrued mileage for drivers.
The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Janet Mills, who has 10 days to sign the bill into law, veto it or allow it to become law without her signature.