Meals on Wheels Association of Texas was present during the 86th Texas Legislative Session in both the House and Senate leading the advocacy for an increase to the Title XX reimbursement rate and an increase in the Texans Feeding Texans program. HB1 was approved with an increase to the Title XX overall home delivered meal program of $6.8M. This will increase the compensation rate from $4.95 to $5.31.
Due to our advocacy efforts, an increase was added to the Texans Feeding Texans program bringing the total of the program funding to $19,724,876 for the biennium. In addition, TDA’s required administrative fee will now be applied to this grant. Although this will applied against the increased appropriation, MOWAT expects to see a net gain in grant funds provided to programs.
Along with the funding increases, the Association spent many hours and late nights educating legislators on the difference between the face to face delivery and the “box on the porch” model of home delivered meals. I am happy to say we were successful in defeating HB3236 which would have opened funding in both the Title III and TDA programs to allow for profit providers to deliver frozen meals via the UPS/Fed Ex delivery model. Thank you to all who made calls, wrote letters, or traveled to Austin to give testimony in opposition.
As rewarding as this legislative session was, we still have a lot of work to do in our great state. As we move forward with a statewide delivery method for underserved areas, I encourage you to reach out to your Texas legislators during the interim and educate on your local programs. Please make them aware of your funding streams (Title XX, Title III, MCO, etc), invite them to deliver meals, add them to your newsletter list, and include them in any and all information regarding your program.