Meals on Wheels receives massive donations following proposed budget cut

"Are you surprised?" Miller asked.

Freda Mendolsohn, 95, is a recipient of Meals on Wheels because she no longer drives. When a client comes into Meals on Wheels, we don't just serve them temporarily.

Then there's this: "These programs are also aligned with the federal cost-containment policy to rebalance long-term care away from nursing homes to home- and community-based services by helping older adults maintain independence and remain in their homes and communities as their health and functioning decline".

The CDBG program is one of the ways states provide funding for Meals on Wheels.

"Any cuts that come about right now would be pretty devastating", Human Services Association associate director Darren Dunaway said. "Help us defend these vital services today", the ad reads.

Meals on Wheels is a critical lifeline for about 150 people each day in our area, served by Lifescape Community Services.

It calls for a 17.9 percent budget cut to the Department of Health and Human Services, but it doesn't specify how the Administration for Community Living, the sub-agency that allocates funding to Meals on Wheels, would be affected.

While Trump's first budget as president is far from finalized, his plan would impact Meals on Wheels through the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant program under the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"Each state allocates this funding differently, so it's hard to summarize the total impact on the nationwide network", Meals on Wheels spokeswoman Jenny Bertolette said shortly after the president's budget plan was released.

There's also peer-reviewed research on the effectiveness of Meals on Wheels.

"We like to say that when you've seen one Meals on Wheels program, you've seen one Meals on Wheels program", said Sandra Noe, the executive director of Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana.

But all that would end under Trump's proposal.

The White House referred questions about the HHS budget to the department.

Jenny Bertolette, vice president of communications for Meals on Wheels America, told The Huffington Post that the program is already struggling to meet the needs of the hungry. Its founders wanted to avoid a financial roller coaster in which its funding levels may shift drastically with the changes of presidential administrations every four or eight years.

Mulvaney's comments Thursday caused consternation at the Capitol and beyond as lawmakers from both parties vowed to protect the program, which serves almost a million meals per day nationwide through a network of more than 5,000 local programs.

"I think it's probably one of the most compassionate things we can do", he said.

Meals on Wheels is responding quickly, by actively seeking donations and volunteers.

Waco's Meals on Wheels program delivers about 190,000 meals per year, and about 50 people in McLennan, Falls and Hill counties are on a waiting list to get in the program, McDermitt said.

Among them is Meals on Wheels, which provides food to the elderly and disabled, to veterans, and to others who are unable for some reason to leave their homes.

"This would be very sad", Solley said of any funding cuts which would affect meals for senior citizens and others.

  • Anthony Vega