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Amata discusses current issues with large turnout at senior Town Hall

Amata at Pago Pago Village Senior Center during Town Hall
Source: Office of the Congresswoman

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Congresswoman Aumua Amata discussed a variety of issues with seniors at a well-attended congressional town hall meeting last week.

“First of all, let me start by saying thank you to so many for taking time for this meeting,” said Aumua Amata. “Hearing your needs and concerns firsthand is so helpful. Because of this meeting and others like it, I can take those thoughts back with me and tell leaders throughout Congress and the Trump Administration the needs of our islands. It also helps me instruct our legislative staff on what to focus on, as we work in Committees or communicate with federal agencies.”

“It’s a real pleasure to meet with our seniors because they are joyful, enthusiastic and optimistic,” continued Amata.

Over 200 seniors joined Amata at the Pago Pago Village Senior Citizen Center for an update on legislation and debates in Washington that affect them, including funding for the Senior Community Service Employment Program.

Anyone 55 years or older and unemployed looking for a new job may sign up and apply for this program. Participants receive a free physical examination, are placed into job training opportunities or a part time job, gain income, learn new skills and have a better opportunity to transition into a full time job.

“Thank you to director Evelyn Lili'o Satele and her staff for their work on the needs of our seniors,” said the Congresswoman.

Town hall participants also brought up the pros and cons of the hot meal program and recall receiving food vouchers instead in the past.

“Like you, I love our island foods! I hear your concerns about the hot meal program,” said Congresswoman Amata. “Programs like this have wonderful intentions and are focused on ensuring nutritional needs are met, but can fall short on understanding culture because they focus on efficient supply for large populations. I will carefully examine this issue, and pass along your comments to those administering the program.”