Josh Protas Joins Meals on Wheels America as Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer

ARLINGTON, Va., April 4, 2024 ~ Josh Protas has recently joined Meals on Wheels America as the organization's new Chief Advocacy and Policy Officer. This leadership organization supports over 5,000 community-based Meals on Wheels programs across the country, providing nutrition and social connection for older adults.

Protas officially began his role on April 1st and brings with him extensive experience in government affairs. He will be responsible for overseeing advocacy campaigns and initiatives that aim to support the nationwide network of senior nutrition programs and the older adults they serve.

Taking over from his predecessor Erika Debrick Kelly, who served in this position for 13 years, Protas will continue to build bipartisan partnerships and coalitions while representing Meals on Wheels America and community-based nutrition programs before Congress, the Administration, and anti-hunger and aging advocates.

Meals on Wheels America's President and CEO, Ellie Hollander, expressed her excitement about Protas joining the team. "Already well-versed in our issues, Josh is a wonderful asset to our team," she said. "He has worked closely with many of the same anti-hunger and aging organizations that we regularly collaborate with and has extensive experience at both the local and national levels. We're looking forward to seeing Josh build upon the incredible legacy Erika Debrick Kelly leaves behind."

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Prior to joining Meals on Wheels America, Protas served as Vice President of Public Policy for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. With years of experience coordinating comprehensive advocacy agendas to protect and improve federal nutrition assistance programs, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his new role. His focus has been on addressing the food security needs of overlooked populations such as veterans, military families, older adults, college students, indigenous communities, and those living in Puerto Rico.

In his new role at Meals on Wheels America, Protas is eager to help bring the organization's vision of an America where all seniors live nourished lives with independence and dignity to life. "For over 11 years at MAZON, it was my honor to help advance the anti-hunger movement's goals," he said. "I'm looking forward to bringing this experience to Meals on Wheels America. At a time when 2.5 million seniors in need are not being reached and one in three local Meals on Wheels programs has a waitlist, my first priority for the months ahead is urging Congress to increase funding for senior nutrition programs and support the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act to help seniors age successfully in their homes."

To learn more about how Meals on Wheels America addresses nutrition, social connection, safety, and more for older adults, visit their website at
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