Ellie Hollander is the President and CEO of the Meals On Wheels Association of America
This May is the 51st annual Older Americans Month, a designation established to promote the celebration of seniors and their contributions to our communities. Given the Census Bureau's projection that the 65-and-older population will nearly double in 20 years, this month serves not only an opportunity to raise awareness, but as a call to action for all of us.
One of the best parts of my job is interacting with our local Meals on Wheels programs from across the country. Recently, I had the privilege to travel to North Carolina, Texas and Georgia to attend each of their State Association Annual meetings. While there, I learned more about how Meals on Wheels programs are banding together in their respective states to ensure that local, state and federal officials pay attention to the 8.8 million seniors who struggle to put enough food on the table.
We're banding together on a national level, too, because partnerships in the hunger space represent the epitome of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. You see, when faced with a problem as big as hunger, especially a hidden and growing problem like senior hunger, a whole lot of people are needed to create an effective solution.
Whether it's national organizations working together, like Feeding America and the Meals On Wheels Association, or a local food bank working with a local senior nutrition program to reach the broad continuum of hungry seniors, we've got to have "all hands on deck" to solve this problem.
The math is simple, and the morals are simpler—federal investment in our local programs is a win-win solution for all of us, from the budget wonk concerned about deficits to the senior who's concerned how she'll be able to eat while recovering from a medical procedure that temporarily renders her immobile.
This Older Americans Month, let's take the time to cherish and nurture the partnerships that are needed to bring a solution to our country's hunger crisis. Together, let's drive our goal of no senior hungry in America, and tell Congress to support them. It's an opportunity we can't afford to pass up.
To learn more visit: feedingamerica.org/OlderAmericansMonth