WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes announced today that the Department of Health and Human Services will award $1,157,671 million in Recovery Act funding to provide meals to tens of thousands of Connecticut seniors in need.

“Just as more and more seniors are in need of assistance, programs like Meals on Wheels and your local senior center are strapped for cash,” said Congressman Himes. “This Recovery Act funding will help ensure older Americans are not forced to choose between paying bills, buying medicine, and putting food on the table.”

The state of Connecticut will award the funds to organizations that provide nutrition services in communities throughout the state. The state will receive $381,912 to support home-delivered nutrition programs and $775,750 to help facilities like senior centers and group homes provide nutritious meals.

The Recovery Act funding comes as budget constraints have forced states to limit community-based services and critical Older Americans Act related services, including home-delivered meals. Across the country, organizations that serve senior citizens have scaled back services and limited the number of meals served per week.

The economic downturn has also made it difficult for many seniors to afford the right foods to keep themselves healthy and active. Many seniors may be too impaired to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. Without regular nutritious meals, the health of many older Americans declines. They become more susceptible to illness, their ability to manage their chronic diseases is reduced, and they may lose their ability to remain at home and independent in their community.

For more information about senior nutrition programs and this funding, visit www.hhs.gov