LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Families, Seniors and Health Services Committee has approved a resolution, sponsored by Sen. Steve Bieda (D–Warren), that urges Congress to continue funding the Meals on Wheels program.

Senate Resolution 30 was unanimously reported out of committee this week with bipartisan support and a favorable vote of 5-0.

“As we sit here, Congress is finalizing funding levels for the 2018 fiscal year,” Sen. Bieda said. “The budget proposed by President Trump would cut funding for the Meals on Wheels program, which serves nutritious meals to 300,000 seniors, right here in Michigan.”

Meals on Wheels delivers nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks for seniors who have trouble getting around, or who don’t have reliable support services. More than 2.4 million seniors rely on this program for their next meal, including 500,000 veterans who’ve served our country honorably.

State and federal funding accounts for nearly half the cost of each meal, with senior recipients and other fundraising sources paying for the rest.

“Earlier this year, we passed a state budget to include funding for Meals on Wheels, and now it’s the federal government’s turn to make sure that folks have what they need to lead healthy lives as they get older,” Sen. Bieda said. “This is not the time to reduce federal funding for a service to those who have contributed to our country their entire lives, and that they rely upon to survive.”

In recent years, Meals on Wheels has been financially strained as the senior population, which is projected to rise every year until it doubles by 2050, grows. Nearly 25 percent of Meals on Wheels programs already have a waiting list, which could increase without adequate funding.

SR 30 now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

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