Advocacy and lobbying efforts are led by Meals on Wheels Association of Texas, a separate 501(c)(6) statewide association founded in 2004 that conducts state and national legislative advocacy on issues of importance to meals-serving organizations for seniors and adults with disabilities in need of nutritional support.
Members of MOWAT successfully worked with state legislators to pass a bill in 2007 to develop Texans Feeding Texans, a home-delivered meal grant program that currently provides $18.5 million in bi-annual funding administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture to approximately 140 meals-serving organizations across Texas.
In 2019, advocacy efforts were successful in increasing the compensation rate of meals from $4.95 to $5.31 through Title XX funding. MOWAT was also successful in pushing for an increase in total funding for the Texas Feeding Texans grant to nearly $20 million for the biennium.
In 2019, member advocacy efforts will be focused on engaging with legislators to educate them on the continuing need for the Texans Feeding Texans program. These efforts are important NOW so that we can:
- Increasing the HHSC home delivered meal reimbursement rate through supporting approval of the exceptional item request from HHSC for $7.8M for the 20-21 biennium.
- Protecting the Texas Department of Agriculture Texans Feeding Texans home-delivered meals grant from additional cuts, and continue trying to rebuild the program to its original $20 million appropriation.
- Monitoring legislation related to Managed Care Organizations and other issues to ensure that meals on wheels programs can be equitably included as service providers and that the value of the meals on wheels network over for profit providers is recognized
- Invite your local legislators to participate in delivering meals
- Write to your local legislators expressing thanks for the receipt of the funds (include a client story and/or the impact of the funds in your area)
- Ask your volunteers and donors to thank your local legislators for the grant program.
- Create a media event and invite Sid Miller to present a check for the amount of area TDA funding
- Provide a quote to the MOWAT board and data on how the funds were used that can be used in advocacy efforts
Who Represents Me provides information about current districts and contact information for your representatives in the Texas Senate, Texas House of Representatives, the Texas delegation to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and the State Board of Education.
Meals on Wheels Association of Texas (MOWAT) leadership works closely with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the Texas Legislature and, on occasion, Congress to ensure that MOWAT:
- Continues to be a stakeholder that has input as rules, regulations and funding that impact meals programs are being revised
- Provides input that reflects the wishes of the member programs, regardless of program size and funding structure, and
- Is an advocate for the member programs regarding changes to rules, regulations and funding that negatively impact meal programs.
When an issue involving Texas Administrative Code (TAC) rules change, changes in policy, funding, etc. comes to the attention of any of the MOWAT Board Members the following process occurs:
- RESEARCH: The Association Liaison researches the issue and seeks input from MOWAT Board Members and the MOWAT Membership, if time permits.
- COMMUNICATION: A letter stating the MOWAT position is formulated and approved by the MOWAT Board. Once approved, it is sent to the appropriate agency and forwarded to the entire MOWAT Membership.
- ACTION: The Association Liaison identifies the appropriate action steps, which may include participating in a work session with the funding agency, testifying at hearings, requesting support letters from members, calling legislators, etc.
DADS and HHSC both include MOWAT as a Stakeholder when meetings of Stakeholders representing a variety of services are scheduled to get input as they consider changes.
Let us know if you are willing to volunteer to participate in MOWAT advocacy efforts in support of positions and initiatives supported by MOWAT. Be ready to respond when we ask for support letters, calls to your local legislators, data, or client stories. If you would like to be actively engaged, please email [email protected] Please indicate if you have a good working knowledge of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), other rules governing meal programs and are interested in helping review proposed changes and draft the recommendation presented by MOWAT.
Meals on Wheels Texas also works closely with Meals on Wheels America to support continuation of federal funding for the Older Americans Act (OAA) and policies that benefit the elderly population that receives home-delivered meals. Meals on Wheels America is focusing on the following:
- Ending sequestration & sustaining federal funding for Older Americans Act nutrition programs
- Protecting & strengthening the Older Americans Act
- Supporting proposals to modify the tax code & increase charitable donations
- Improving access to other fedreal nutrition programs that benefit seniors
Click here to read their full advocacy agenda.
If you are interested in getting involved in MOWAT's advocacy efforts, please email [email protected]
Meet our Lobbyists
Lisa has lobbied the Texas Legislature and state agencies for more than 25 years. Due to her former environmental law practice, she is best known as an environmental and energy issues lobbyist, but has also lobbied on taxation, tort reform, human services, budget/appropriations, local government powers and governance, general business, and transportation issues.
Lisa enjoys building diverse lobby coalitions, crafting unexpected legislative maneuvers, and finding unanticipated ways to implement solutions to her clients’ needs. Strategic thinking, the ability to draft legislation and amendments, and the knowledge of her clients’ business are hallmarks of Lisa’s work. Above all, she is tenacious in pursuing her clients’ interests.
Denise has been working in and around the Texas Capitol for over a decade, primarily in the areas of healthcare and hospital policy. She is extremely well-versed in the legislative and appropriations processes, and has cultivated relationships throughout the Texas Capitol and in state agencies.
Denise has helped Meals on Wheels Association of Texas strengthen its relationships with key Health and Human Services Commission staff and leadership at a time when the agency is going through tremendous changes, both in personnel and in policy.