Advocate

Want to Support VANTAGE? Become an Advocate!

By publicly recommending and supporting a positive perspective on aging, you have the ability to speak or write in support of the programs we provide to promote successful aging across Ohio. 

What is the Older Americans Act?

The Older Americans Act (OAA)is federal legislation that supports the social and nutrition services to Americans over age 60 since 1965.  The stated purpose of the OAA is to ensure equal opportunity to the fair and free enjoyment of adequate income in retirement; the best possible physical and mental health services without regard to economic status; suitable housing; restorative and long term care; opportunity for employment; retirement in health, honor, and dignity, civic, cultural, educational and recreational participation and contribution; efficient community services; immediate benefit from proven research knowledge; freedom, independence, and the exercise of self-determination; and protection against abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

OAA supports the rights of seniors to live independently by funding home and community-based program to address isolation, in-home services, transportation, hunger, elder-abuse prevention and more.  Funding for OAA programs has decreased by 18% over the past 20 years while the senior population has grown by 34%.

The Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016 passed by Congress reauthorized programs for FY 2017-through FY 2019.  While this was a step in the right direction in protecting this important legislation, it’s just as critical that the OAA continues to be adequately funded.  Unfortunately, the proposed federal budget currently eliminates most of the funding provided by OAA.

 Latest News

May 29, 2018

As hearings on the Fiscal Year 2019 federal budget proceed, we ask the community to support continued funding for the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS). The budget proposes to eliminate CNCS, the federal agency that administers three national Senior Corps programs that engage Americans in service: RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions.

Of specific concern to VANTAGE, the FY2019 Budget proposal seeks to eliminate the federally financed CNCS RSVP program that is funded under the Senior Corps program. Throughout the United States in 2017, Senior Corps programs enabled more than 270,000 senior volunteers to provide essential services to their communities at 50,000 locations. Local, county and state governments cannot afford to replace these services. Moreover, RSVP programs alone engaged over 230,000 adults over age 55 in service projects in more than 38,000 organizations that addressed national problems facing local communities. They are changing lives, locally and nationally.

Our VANTAGE RSVP program provides a significant cost-effective solution to address many unmet needs in our community. In 2017, our 300 volunteers provided 18,245 hours of service at 13 agencies.  In Akron, more than 48 percent of the population lives below 200% of the poverty level, and more than half of the City’s children live below the poverty line.  Without the help of nonprofit agencies served by VANTAGE RSVP, these individuals could not access basic needs, especially food. Our RSVP volunteers address food insecurity. They prepare and pack food for Meals on Wheels, deliver meals to clients, and provide wellness checks at the same time, thus enabling seniors to stay in their homes. Children also benefit from literacy tutoring, and healthy eating and physical activity programs under our RSVP CATCH kids club.

The CNCS Senior Corps programs, including RSVP, have demonstrated effective use of federal dollars to provide positive changes not only in the lives of hundreds of thousands of seniors but also to the agencies and communities they serve.

May 8, 2018

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to debate Farm Bill proposals that will make it more complicated for vulnerable older workers, caregivers, and others to access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Millions of Americans are projected to lose the help they need to put food on the table.

SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. It is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. 

Call your Representative and urge them to reject cuts and instead support efforts to strengthen SNAP for seniors and families. 

April 6, 2018

The FY 2018 federal funding bill passed Congress and increases were provided to vital Older Americans Act (OAA) programs and services funded through the US Administration on Aging and delivered locally by organizations across the country.

There were increases to OAA Subtitles III B, C, D and E. This means that older adults will continue to receive in-home services, home-delivered and congregate meals, transportation, caregiver supports, evidence-based health and wellness programs and other essential services that enable them to maintain their health and independence for as long as possible.

Lawmakers rejected proposals from the Trump Administration to eliminate key federal programs that help low-income older adults meet their basic needs, find jobs to make ends meet, give back to their communities through volunteerism, receive one-on-one help understanding their Medicare and other benefits, and help them live independently at home and in the community.

March 9, 2018

The current stopgap spending bill providing federal funding for Meals on Wheels and other programs supporting seniors is set to expire on March 23, giving our national network and supporters fewer than two weeks to reinforce our key appropriations asks.

As a reminder, in any final FY 2018 funding agreement, we urge Congress to:

  • Increase federal funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs by $150 million over FY 2017 enacted levels, for a total of $987.7 million;  
  • Maintain existing funding levels, at a minimum, for the Social Services, Community Development and Community Services Block Grants; and
  • Protect and increase funding for all OAA programs and other federal nutrition programs that benefit seniors, such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

 

Reports from Capitol Hill indicate that the House of Representatives wants to consider a funding bill around March 15, meaning these next few days are critical to our call for increased funding for senior nutrition programs in FY 2018. Please take action now by writing to your Members of Congress today!

 What Will be Impacted by the Proposed Budget?

 

 

 

How Can you Advocate

It is so simple!  Write a letter-yes, an old-fashioned, pen to ink, handwritten or typed, send in the mail, LETTER! 

To whom:

Your elected officials! Click this        link        to find your elected officials and write them an actual letter!  Writing letters in your own words is an efficient and effective way to influence Members of Congress.  Since congressional offices receive only a handful of letters on most issues, each carriers real power. 

And say what?

Tell them your story and how continued cuts will impact you and your family! Let them know how you, a neighbor, family member, or friend will be impacted by any cuts to funding! Let them know that all older Americans deserve the right and need access to nutritious food, job training opportunities, transportation, health care, heat, and more!  Urge elected officials to increase funding to meet the growing population of older adults!  Remember, they work for YOU!

 

Font Resize
Contrast