Mass Seniors Speak Out: 'Don’t Leave Our Plates Empty'
Seniors from across Massachusetts gathered at the State House Thursday to speak out against proposed cuts to senior meal programs.
Organized by the Massachusetts Senior Action Council (MSAC), the protest and lobbying drive came in response to a new Beacon Hill budget proposal that would eliminate more than 240,000 meals for low-income and homebound seniors throughout the commonwealth.
Donning sandwich boards and waving signs reading “Don’t leave our plates empty!,” MSAC members delivered thousands of empty paper plates to Speaker Robert DeLeo and members of the legislature – each signed by a low-income or homebound senior who depends on the Elder Nutrition Program (ENP) for regular meals.
Following the plate presentation, advocates visited dozens of legislative offices to educate members and ask that each commit to fully funding the Elder Nutrition Program and other senior meal initiatives.
“The nutrition component couldn’t be more important – this is the only hot meal many seniors will receive each day,” said MSAC President Ann Stewart. “Balancing the budget by taking hot meals away from low-income and homebound seniors is absolutely unconscionable.”
Members of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council hope the lobbying effort will stave off cuts in the House version of the budget, set to be released April 11th.
“We sincerely hope our legislative leaders understand how vital these programs are to seniors across Massachusetts,” Stewart said. “We won’t rest until their budget priorities reflect that understanding.”