Meals On Wheels Could Soon Face Funding Crisis

Henrietta Brewer
March 20, 2017

Last Friday and Saturday following the unveiling of Trump's budget, more than $100,000 was donated to Meals on Wheels online. For those who believe Meals on Wheels is worthy of federal tax dollars, they should keep in mind that donations don't address the whole issue.

Nevertheless, Meals on Wheels quickly became the poster child for the impact of Trump's budget cuts.

The fundraising and volunteer recruitment message from Meals on Wheels is clear.

Jutson says a program like Meals on Wheels helps people stay independent and prevents more expensive hospital trips, paid for by Medicare or Medicaid. As we wrote about on Thursday, the national organization, named after its focus on bringing meals to the elderly and other homebound individuals, would see its own budget - which comes from a mix of government funding and private donations - significantly cut under the proposed new plan.

The chief executive of Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County has written an open letter, responding to President Trump's initial budget blueprint. The Older Americans Act, which was enacted in 1965, has been a primary funder for the program. However, HUD doesn't know how much of that money ultimately goes to that program. The cuts would include $3 billion to be taken away from community development block grants that help fund programs like Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels America says volunteer signups shot up 500 percent in the 24 hours after news of Trump's budget broke, according to the Huffington Post. 35% of its funding comes from the "Older Americans Act' administered by the Department of Health and Human Services".

"We can't do that anymore".

So again, we don't know how much will end up being cut from this program but it sure sounds awful that Trump wants to slash the Older Americans Act.

The meeting, held at the headquarters of Meals on Wheels, was attended by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat. The CDBG is a federal grant program that uses state money to fund various community and social programs at their discretion.

"It's reassuring that the public has stepped up", Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America told CNN. "And we're delivering relief from isolation, and we're delivering relief to their family as well".

"It's not just a meal, but a wellness check", Noe said.

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