The 56-year-old Georgia resident never envisioned when she voted for President Donald Trump that he’d propose eliminating federal funding for the programs. We can’t take money from the federal budget and say we’re going to give you money for programs that don’t work.
Although a majority of the funding for Meals on Wheels come from community donations and outside sources, Missoula Aging Services CEO Susan Kohler says she is anxious even the most minor cuts would trickle down and put the program at risk.
The Meals on Wheels program in San Fransisco released a similar statement, asking supporters to help by pushing back against the passing of this budget, and calling for representatives to ensure that programs that feed and perform safety checks for senior citizens are funded. He also said meals on wheels and other like programs have been indentified as “ones that were just not showing any results”.
President Trumps budget plan is just a proposal no official cuts have been made at this time.
The Meals on Wheels program at Korean Community Services is one of a few that serve distinctly immigrant communities. “It’s just good knowing somebody is going to come by and check on you and knowing that there is going to be a hot meal”, said Hamrick.
Volunteer sign-ups also jumped, increasing by 500%, according to Jenny Bertolette, a spokeswoman for Meals on Wheels America. Those who deliver the meals can check on the clients’ well-being and the nutritious food can keep seniors healthy and able to live in their own homes. Every Meals on Wheels affiliate gets money from a different mix of state, local and federal government funds, along with individual donations and philanthropic organizations. “But when we get into appropriations, Meals on Wheels is a wonderful program”.
The administration’s proposed cuts target the Department of Housing and Urban Development and call for the elimination of the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant, which helps fund programs including Meals on Wheels, which deliver food (and human interaction) to elderly, disabled and poor recipients.
The White House referred questions about the HHS budget to the department.
Others have pointed to the fact that the majority of funding for the programme comes through state-allocated funds and not federal grants, and would not be affected by this cutback. “I need my walker”, she said.
Any decent human being who understands the extent of this need and grasps the poignancy of the image of lonely, hungry seniors would have either avoided this budget cut, or tried to explain it in compassionate terms.
“Quite honestly we were all surprised here, we feel our services save taxpayers money in the long run”, said Thad Rosenfeld with Meals on Wheels Central Texas.