Parker County March for Meals 5k on Saturday

Parker County March for Meals 5k on Saturday

Parker County March for Meals 5k on Saturday

As the chatter continues about President Trump's proposed budget, one of the programs targeted initially for potential cutbacks is what's commonly called Meals on Wheels, or meals delivered to senior citizens. But a lot of the tone of the coverage has suggested that the entire Meals on Wheels program hinged directly federal funding. People who actually have the ability to go shopping for their food are therefore ineligible for Meals on Wheels, she said.

However, the demand is up, and more individuals are needed to better service the community.

About Meals on Wheels America: Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation.

Cody says 50% of the funding for those programs comes from the federal government.

The impact of cuts is unknown at this time.

Every week, Dave Berger and his wife Linda make their way around town delivering food through Meals on Wheels. "Those really are core services and all of those would be at risk (if federal funding is cut)".

In Somersworth, Jaime Chagnon, the director of Strafford Nutrition Program, said she would have to cut 2,500 meals from her program.

The brouhaha stems from two community development block grants that would be eliminated under Trump's budget.

- Five days a week, 1,000 meals are dispatched out of several Pinellas County kitchens to the homes of the county's elderly, via Meals on Wheels.

"Almost all of our funding is through the Older Americans Act".

There were 36,445 unique users engaged with Meals on Wheels' Twitter account (@_MealsOnWheels) on Thursday, with its content receiving more than 53,000 engagements.

"Real joy to see people who appreciate the meal that they received", Berger said.

Some 200 volunteers work to serve around 150,000 meals per year. In fact, volunteers say they have never been busier, and now serve roughly 20,000 meals a year.

Senior CommUnity Meals' budget sits at about $500,000.

He says he is watching and waiting, but not speculating about proposed cuts.

"All senior centers across the state do not operate exactly the same way", said Angela Ezell, senior center director.

"And I would encourage other people to do so, as well".

But Bertolette says "it's hard to imagine a scenario in which these critical services would not be significantly and negatively impacted if [the budget proposal is] enacted into law", she says.

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