The United States President, Mr. Donald Trump is coming under fire for proposing a budget that includes the complete elimination of federal funding for the Meals on Wheels Program (MOWP). Meals on wheels services provide food to the elderly, poor, veterans, disabled and others who often can’t leave their homes.
Reported in the New York Times this week, under the proposed budget, the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s entire $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program would be eliminated. The grants fund services for low-income Americans ― including grants for Meals on Wheels programs. While it is acknowledged that many meals on wheels service providers receive funding from a range of sources, there is no doubt that providers who rely on federal funding will be forced to make cuts of their own.
“Increasing the vulnerability of older people, many of whom have helped shaped a nation, their community and family is unacceptable if these budget cuts are true. Where is the humanity in society if we take away from those who have not”, said Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA).
Meals on Wheels America have also reacted to the news with a statement on the budget blueprint also known as the “skinny budget,” sent to Congress by the President. This blueprint focuses on discretionary spending levels for Fiscal Year 2018, and makes investments in defense programs, paid for through deep cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, such as Meals on Wheels.
“The problem with a skinny budget is it is lean on details. So, while we don’t know the exact impact yet, cuts of any kind to these highly successful and leveraged programs would be a devastating blow to our ability to provide much-needed care for millions of vulnerable seniors in America, which in turn saves billions of dollars in reduced healthcare expenses” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO Meals on Wheels America.