Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
U.S. | By Wayne Curry

Is Trump gutting Meals on Wheels? His budget director says no

Is Trump gutting Meals on Wheels? His budget director says no

Around the Sharon area, 75 people rely on food from the Shenango Valley's Meals on Wheels fridge.

"The good news that it has rallied folks around the cause and reminded folks that they can't really take these kinds of services for granted", said Patrick Rowan, executive director of Metro Meals on Wheels. I say "yet" though.

The organization's leaders say their funding generally comes from community donations, fund raising and private grants.

President Trump's budget proposal proposes to cut the Department of Health and Human Services by 16 percent.

The White House is defending proposed cuts to popular federal programs, one of those being Meals on Wheels, the popular service that provides food to the elderly, faces a sharp funding cut under Trump's budget proposal, drawing bipartisan criticism.

Spicer says that there are "false narratives" being reported about the nature of budget cuts to the Meals on Wheels program. "Mayor Summey always has supported Meals on Wheels, and he's going to continue to do that".

Ham walked the rest of the panel through some of the problems with the community block grant program. If that funding source is cut, they would have to turn seniors away or cut down from two meals per day to just one, she said. The CDBG is a federal grant program that uses state money to fund various community and social programs at their discretion. More than 2.4 million older Americans are served each year, including more than 500,000 veterans. There is now no evidence that any of these programs are being cut or that their budget reductions would affect Meals on Wheels programs.

Ebmeier says the Meels on Wheels program serves up so much more than a meal, but also a friendly visit, a wellness check and peace-of-mind for families.

Last Friday and Saturday following the unveiling of Trump's budget, more than $100,000 was donated to Meals on Wheels online. About $600,000 of it comes from the federal government directly or through the state.

"I couldn't go grocery shopping, and couldn't get up and down the stairs", she said.

"It's reassuring that the public has stepped up", Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America told CNN.

The national office of Meals on Wheels saw 50 times the amount of donations following the release of the Trump administration budget plan. He's not even cutting it.

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