Meals on Wheels has been a popular program that helps to feed seniors unable to get food normally due to economic need, but a new proposed Congressional budget plan formed by the Trump administration appears to be taking already slim funds away from the program. It is well known that the federal government does put money into aide departments, but Meals on Wheels really does not see as much as others.
For those unaware, the program mostly relies on donations from Americans across the country. Without them, the program would have trouble serving food to all that need their help to attain it. America’s Meals on Wheels normally needs more money, but many programs across the country get a lot more love.
The average daily donation to Meals on Wheels in the United States is about $1,000. That roughly estimates to $365,000 within a year. Obviously that is nothing to scoff at, but compared to what Meals on Wheels might need these days, it could be higher. Due to the new budget plan, people obviously heard of the possible issue that would result in federal funds being taken down or completely away from Meals on Wheels.
Due to this, donations needed to go up to take the place of lost federal funding. That looks to be exactly what has occurred. On Thursday, it was reported by Meals on Wheels America that the program received $50,000 in donations the day after the budget was announced. If they were able to somehow keep this up just every month, they would make near double what they would on normal donations. Of course if they saw a just a few thousand more per day it would also help them out.
The donations for Meals on Wheels America help a lot of people, and cover 5,000 providers of home-delivered meals for seniors. The fact that donations are surging since the budget announcement could be terrific. Obviously, helping to make sure people that need help are getting it is clearly a great thing. Meals on Wheels is a proven system that has helped millions.
It appears that the idea would be that the state would have some extra funds to do with as they wish, and they would be able to use it for Meals on Wheels or other charitable organizations.
Sadly, Meals on Wheels is often forgotten about compared to the various other charitable organizations that also need funding. The reason for the problem with Meals on Wheels has to do with the budget, as previously mentioned, but it is really regarding what department they are decreasing funds to. Trump’s budget is including a 17.9 percent cut for fiscal 2018 in funds for the Department of Health of Human Services.
This is the department responsible with offering government support for a variety of programs, including Meals on Wheels. Spokeswoman for Meals on Wheels, Jenny Bertolette, claimed that the budget proposal did not say how cuts would affect the Administration for Community Living. They fund nutrition programs for the elderly.
Obviously, Meals on Wheels realizes that federal funding is really helpful to them. Donations do help as well, and a rise is good to see. But it is unlikely that donations like this will be a regular thing going into 2018. People donate now because Meals on Wheels is in the news and we know of how they are impacted. However, the Department of Health and Human Services provide money for more than just Meals on Wheels and all of which will need extra funding with this cut too.
Meals on Wheels claimed on their website that it would be difficult to imagine a scenario where the next federal budget would not have an impact on the services they provide. Spokewoman Jenny Bertolette spoke with Reuters where she claimed that donations are good but do not replace regular federal aide that is needed for the program. She said…
“While Meals on Wheels America and local Meals on Wheels programs are seeing an uptick in giving, it does not replace federal funding.”
The White House did not answer questions directly and referred all of them to Health and Human Services. A rep for the department then referred to a statement from Secretary Tom Price released earlier in the week, where he claimed the following.
“HHS is dedicated to fulfilling our department’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the American people. This budget supports that mission and will help ensure we are delivering critical services to our fellow citizens”
These cuts are helping to provide over $50 billion to the Department of Defense. The budget will have to decrease other areas in order to compensate for this major increase in defense. This budget proposal has worried several Democrats, but they are not alone. Various Republicans are also against the idea of decreasing other programs to increase the $600 billion defense budget, which is already the highest defense budget in the world.
[Featured Image By PRNewswire/AP Images]