Local 'Meals on Wheels' program fears for future under proposed federal budget

25 March, 2017, 00:49 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
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President Donald Trump's budget proposal includes cutting the Community Development Block grant program, and some Meals on Wheels clients are anxious the program could go away if the budget is passed.

As the nation talks about potential funding cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels, the program in the Charlottesville area is facing its own money trouble.

Toscano said the nonprofit service, which served 66,000 meals in this area previous year, not only provides nourishment and visits to low-income homebound residents, many of them elderly, but it also saves money.

"Day in and day out, Meals on Wheels is there for our seniors and most vulnerable neighbors, and now it's time we, as a region and as a state, stand up and support them when they need it most", said Senator Tim Kennedy.

While Meals on Wheels gets most of its funding from private contributions, corporate grants, charitable foundations and other sources beyond the CDBG program, a much more substantial chunk of funding (more than 30 percent) comes from the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program.

Non-defense discretionary programs, such as MIFA's Meals on Wheels, could lose portions of funding, due to plans to invest in defense programs, as stated in President Trump's preliminary budget, which will not take effect until October of this year. I challenge any program or business to do more with less than Meals on Wheels programs have done.

"It's more than we would ever expect or even think about", she said.

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Hale said they haven't seen a bump in donations, but estimated that there has been a 15 percent increase in calls from people interested in volunteering over the last week.

And you guys say we live in a bubble? Ha! She said it would be "vitally important" to work with state, local and federal partners to address any cuts. Please write to your Congressional representatives and let them know that abandoning programs that give real help to people who need it is not the way to balance our national budget.

"We have to invest in our seniors", she said.

Roderick/Hayfork Senior Center is enlisting Supervisors Bobbi Chadwick and John Fenley to deliver meals in honor of the 2017 March for Meals' annual Community Champions Week.

Jackson said there has been a definite uptick in volunteer applications and donations. "To feed 65 people on the amount they give us is nearly impossible".

Calzadilla said the local Meals on Wheels chapter has operated in Palm Beach County for six years. They want to tell you their life story. Clients receive two meals a day, Monday through Friday.



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