R 086
2021 -- H 6056
Enacted 03/02/2021

H O U S E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Representatives Ruggiero, Cassar, Serpa, Caldwell, Casimiro, Alzate, Fenton-Fung, Tanzi, Newberry, and Blazejewski

Date Introduced: March 02, 2021

     WHEREAS, On March 22, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law a measure that
amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 and established a national nutrition program for
seniors 60 years and older; and
     WHEREAS, Meals on Wheels America established the March for Meals campaign in
March 2002 to recognize the historic month, the importance of the Older Americans Act
Nutrition Programs, both congregate and home-delivered, and raise awareness about the
escalating problem of senior hunger in America; and
     WHEREAS, The 2021 observance of March for Meals celebrates 19 years of providing
an opportunity to support Meals on Wheels programs that deliver vital and critical services by
donating, volunteering and raising awareness about senior hunger and isolation; and
     WHEREAS, Meals on Wheels nutrition programs have served Rhode Island communities
admirably for 52 years with 2,748 home bound seniors served and 336,000 meals and safety
checks made every year; and
     WHEREAS, Volunteers for Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island are the backbone of the
program and they not only deliver nutritious meals to seniors and individuals with disabilities
who are at significant risk of hunger and isolation, but also caring concern and attention to their
welfare; and
     WHEREAS, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island programs provide nutritious meals to
seniors throughout the state that help them maintain their health and independence, thereby
preventing unnecessary falls, hospitalizations and/or premature institutionalization; and
     WHEREAS, Statewide 58 percent of those receiving Meals on Wheels reside in
Providence, 17.5 percent in Kent County, 11 percent in Washington County, and 5 percent in
Bristol County; an d
     WHEREAS, More than ever, over this past year's COVID-19 pandemic, Meals on
Wheels of Rhode Island programs have provided a powerful opportunity for social connection for
millions of seniors to help combat the negative health effects and economic consequences of
loneliness and isolation. More than 50 percent of those receiving services are over the age of 80
and the majority live alone. Veterans and veteran spouses comprise more than 20 percent; and
     WHEREAS, Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island programs deserve recognition for the
heroic contributions and essential services they have provided amid the COVID-19 pandemic and
will continue to provide to local communities, our State and our Nation long after it is over; now,
therefore be it
     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island hereby
proclaims March of 2021, as the 19th Annual March for Meals Month and urges every citizen to
take this month to honor our Meals on Wheels programs, the seniors they serve, and the
volunteers who care for them. Our recognition of, and involvement in, the national 2021 March
for Meals can enrich our entire community and help combat senior hunger and isolation in
America; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Meghan Grady, Executive Director of Meals on
Wheels of RI.