Wyman Duggan seeks $500K for nutritional health of local seniors

Asian senior or elderly old lady woman patient eating breakfast healthy food with hope and happy while sitting and hungry on bed in hospital.
The money would help improve the nutritional health of nearly 800 elderly, low-income people in seven counties.
Wyman Duggan.

The Northeast Florida Area Agency on Aging wants $500,000 to improve the nutritional health status of low-income, older adults in poor physical health.

The funding request for the state fiscal year 2022-2023 budget was filed Monday by Rep. Wyman Duggan, a Republican from Jacksonville.

Budget documents filed with the House of Representatives show the Northeast Florida Area Agency on Aging, which operates as Eldersource, will use the money to help improve the nutritional health of upward of 800 elderly, low-income people in Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns, and Volusia counties.

Nutrition services include meals, nutrition counseling, and nutrition education, and assistive eating devices. Eldersource Chief Executive Officer Linda Levin told Florida Politics that the Eldersource would contract with providers in the organization’s seven-county area.

Levin said that $450,000 would be directed toward contracts with providers at the county level and that $50,000 would be for Eldersource staff who will be charged with programmatic and fiscal oversight of the contracts.

The oversight ensures “taxpayer dollars are well and appropriately spent,” she added.

Lawmakers agreed to earmark $400,000 to Eldersource in the 2021-2022 year for home-delivered meals. That funding request also was made by Duggan.

The new funding request isn’t only about the delivery of meals to the home, though. Levin said providers could use the funds to offer congregate meals to clients less expensive than home-delivered meals. Or the funds could be used to help purchase assistive devices that enable clients to cook for — and feed — themselves.

Legislators meet in Tallahassee on Jan. 11 for the start of the 2022 Regular Session. While they will consider many bills during the 60-day work period, legislators are required to pass just one bill: the general appropriations act, or the budget.

Robert Beck, a Tallahassee-based lobbyist specializing in elder care issues, has been hired to lobby on the funding request.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


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