GAO Request Made on Nutritional Quality in Federal Programs for Older Adults

U.S. Senators Patty Murray (Washington) and Bob Casey (Pennsylvania) have filed a request with the Government Accountability Office to determine if federally funded programs meet the nutritional needs of the older adults they serve.

The Defeat Malnutrition Today coalition’s National Coordinator Bob Blancato commended the action, noting it was made at the start of the annual observance of Malnutrition Awareness Week™. Blancato noted that Defeat Malnutrition Today’s interest in this study correlates directly with the growing rate of malnutrition among older adults.

“We applaud Senators Murray and Casey for their leadership on this critical issue of whether meals provided with federal funds actually address the caloric and nutritional needs of older adults. The study will evaluate the largest program in the Older Americans Act: its three nutrition programs. The request is timely, made before next year’s renewal of the Farm Bill, which includes the Senior Farmers Market Program as well as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. All of these programs are crucial to older adults’ nutritional intake and should be carefully examined,” Blancato said.

Senator Murray is the Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and played a key role in the passage of the bipartisan Older Americans Act in 2016. Senator Casey is the ranking Member on the Senate Special Committee on Aging and spearheaded a recent hearing of the Committee on nutrition and older adults.

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