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Meals On Wheels Fact Sheets: Sources and Methods

Meals On Wheels Fact Sheets: Sources and Methods

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Published by Will Thomas
Description of data sources and methods used in creating figures for Meals On Wheels Association of America Fact Sheets.

Originally published March 2014.
Description of data sources and methods used in creating figures for Meals On Wheels Association of America Fact Sheets.

Originally published March 2014.

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Published by: Will Thomas on May 31, 2014
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07/09/2014

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 1
Data Sources for Fact Sheets
 
Senior Hunger Data
All data regarding senior hunger was derived from
The State of Senior Hunger in America 2011:  An Annual Report 
 from the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). Full report available at: http://www.nfesh.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/State-of-Senior-Hunger-in-America-2011.pdf 
Older Americans Act Title III Program Data
All data regarding Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III Programs was derived from the AGing Integrated Database (AGID) system, the AGID State Profiles, and the National Survey of OAA Participants. Full reports available at: www.agidnet.acl.gov and www.agid.acl.gov/StateProfiles  and http://www.agid.acl.gov/CustomTables/NPS/Data/ . 
Federal Appropriations Data
All data regarding Federal Appropriations and State Allocations thereof was derived from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging. Full report available at: http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/OAA/Aging_Network/State_Allocations/index.aspx
Public Support for Meals on Wheels Funding Data
An October, 2013 study conducted by SSRS, an independent research company, among a nationally representative sample of respondents age 18+, found that 71% of survey respondents "believe the government should pay for Meals on Wheels."
Methods Used in Data Preparation
Seniors Struggling With Hunger
National figures are taken directly from
The State of Senior Hunger in America 2011: An Annual Report 
 from the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). To produce state-by-
state breakdowns, we applied the Administration on Aging’s state
-by-state population estimates for persons over 60 (found on AGID State Profile, Part A: Population Estimates, Line 2) to the state-level hunger percentage estimates included in the NFESH study.
Seniors Getting Our Help
All data on seniors being helped is taken directly from the AGID State Profiles. It represents
“Persons Served” for
home-delivered Meals and congregate Meals (Found on AGID State Profile, Part F: Persons Served/Service Units, Lines 7 and 15).
The percentage figure is simply the “Seniors Getting Our Help” divided by the “Seniors
Struggling With Hun
ger” figure.
 
 
 2
Leaving ## In Need
This is simply the “Senior 
s
Struggling” figure subtracted by the “Seniors Getting Our Help”
figure. In five states (Delaware, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming), there appear to be more seniors being served by Title III Nutrition programs than are Struggling With Hunger, according to our estimations. This
does not mean that Senior Hunger does not exist in these states or that Title III Nutrition programs are solving the problem.
 Though Older Americans Act Title III programs target populations that are more statistically likely to struggle with hunger, households do not
have to qualify as “struggling with hunger” as a condition to receive meals from Title III Nutrition
programs.
Yearly Cost of Meals
These costs are derived from the AGID State Profiles.
 
First, the individual cost of a meal is determined using the average cost of both home-delivered and congregate meals for each state in the given year (Expenditure data found on AGID State Profile, Part F: Expenditures, Lines 10, 11, 21, and 22).This figure was derived for each state, since each state serves a different amount of meals with different levels of expenditure. For example, in the US in calendar year 2011, 227,733,144 meals were served through Older Americans Act Title III Nutrition Programs. The Total Expenditures for these meals (including Federal, state, and other sources) totaled $1,406,503,791. This means the average cost per meal was $6.18.
           
 
     
 
 
Next, we estimated the cost of meals for a year based on 250 multiplied by the average cost per meal for each state.
 
Though many home-delivered or congregate meals clients do not get meals year-round
for many reasons, we estimate that if a client were to receive meals “year 
-
round”, they
would receive approximately 250 meals a year-- 5 meals a week for 50 weeks of the year. Fifty weeks estimate is to account for Federal Holidays.
        
 
      
 The figures presented on the fact sheet are rounded up to the next nearest dollar from the calculations above.

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