Senator Introduces Bill to Protect Senior Nutrition Programs

January 27, 2012

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has formally introduced the Older Americans Act reauthorization bill, which affects senior nutrition programs like ours. It includes all of the key policy points  that we have been advocating through NANASP. This includes maintaining separate funding streams for congregate and home delivered meals and limiting the authority of local government to transfer money out of nutrition to back-fill administrative positions.

Senator Sanders’ speech was spot-on and highlighted the critical need for senior nutrition programs. Here’s an excerpt:

Not only is it the right and moral thing to do to keep seniors in this country from going hungry, in the long run, we save money by keeping them healthy.

Listen to the full speech below.


Weekend Wrap-up: Reauthorization Delayed

December 19, 2011

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Delayed

The big news from Friday is the announcement from Senator Sanders (I-VT) office that he’s delaying introducing Reauthorization of the Older Americans Act until 2012.  He emphasizes the importance of Older Americans Act in his reasoning to delay because people are focused on the Fiscal Year 2012 spending bill and extension of the payroll tax holiday. Go to to read the draft version.

Univision San Diego

SCC Vice President of Development, Brent Wakefield appeared on Univision Monday morning to share his “famous” recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup. What makes it more impressive? He hosted his holiday dinner gathering for about 60 people Saturday evening. To create Brent’s soup – click here >>> Tuscan Bean Soup or en Espanol – Sopa Toscana

During his visit he shared with viewers another way to feed people in need – “Food from the Heart” is our program where a family sponsors Senior Community Centers for a day. Understand Spanish? Or just want to see Brent partake in a side-career as a chef, watch the segment now.

Christmas Comes to Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center

On Christmas, I plan to be at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center as I do most years. It is my extended family and I look forward to it. Yesterday, the seniors at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center kicked-off the week with their annual holiday party. There were raffle prizes and gifts given; as seniors enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies. Thank you to all who donated to make this little party a festive celebration.

On a Side Note

Christmas came early for many Chargers fans. Broncos and Raiders lose, Chargers beat up the Ravens to keep our hopes going for another week. Go Chargers!

Congressman Filner Promises to Support Senior Programs and Activites

December 15, 2011

Today at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, Congressman Bob Filner stopped by to talk to the seniors. I’ve known Bob for a longtime, since before my days began with Senior Community Centers. He worked his way through the room. He talked to seniors about those issues affecting them. He has long represented the 51st district for many years now. Over the past week, we appreciate that our Congressional representatives, Susan Davis and Bob Filner take time from their busy schedules to stop by and express their support for seniors and the work we do at Senior Community Centers. Our nutrition program is the foundation for our model of care. As hunger and food insecurity grows, so does the importance of nutrition programs like ours.

The House hasn’t yet addressed the Reauthorization of Older Americans Act. In the other chamber, Sen. Sanders (V) is expected to introduce his bill on the OAA Reauthorization. This bill affects nutrition programs, like ours, across the nation. Check back soon or sign up to receive blog updates.  I will post my thoughts on the bill as soon as it is released and I’m able to review it.

Falling Back – Weekend Wrap Up

November 7, 2011

This weekend we gained an hour. What did you do with your extra hour?

Our Website Gets a Makeover

Senior Community Centers updated our homepage, added advocacy section to include more information on our key issues and Seniors First initiative. Along with the aesthetic changes comes a new sponsorship program, “Food from the Heart.” . If you haven’t seen it, click here >>>

 NANASP meets in Chicago, Sets Focus

Last week the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Service Programs (NANASP) Strategic Planning session was held in Chicago. It was decided that the focus will be on Reauthorization of Older Americans Act (OAA) and Budget issues surrounding (specifically) nutrition programs and (generally) aging programs.

The next deadline to watch is Wednesday. Super-Committee draft proposal is due to the Whitehouse Budget Office (WBO) November 23. The WBO previously stated that it needs two weeks to confirm savings in proposed cuts – which makes Wednesday a milestone. Stay tuned…

Senior Nutrition is the Best Medicine

July 20, 2011

Recently, after my DC trip for the NANASP Conference, I was asked to write an article for One Away; Campaign for Elder Economic Security. We spent two days talking to members of Congress, their staff and numerous others about cost-savings support services provide to Americans; and how essential it is that we protect funding for Older Americans Act (OAA). Everyone I spoke with understands the importance of senior nutrition programs; and agrees there is a connection between senior nutrition, which is the best medicine to maintain health and independent living; and savings to taxpayers by preventing unnecessary hospitalization or institutionalization. Bill and Sonia are a couple I met a few months ago and their story is anyone’s story and illustrates best OAA’s impact.

A Senior Community Centers’ social worker discovered them earlier that morning while participating in a count of homeless in downtown San Diego. A fire had destroyed their apartment, leaving them with nothing but the clothes on their back and a car. Read the rest of this entry »

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