According to Reuters, online donations to the national Meals on Wheels America network, which delivers low-cost or free meals to the elderly in their homes, have spiked since President Trump’s proposed budget revealed that the organization could be indirectly impacted.
Meals on Wheels America typically receives donations of $1,000 every day, but after the president’s budget blueprint was announced on Thursday, the organization took in approximately $50,000.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which provides the majority of federal funding for Meals on Wheels, will take a 17.9 percent cut in funding for the fiscal year 2018 under the proposed budget. However, there are no details regarding how the budget cut would actually affect the Administration for Community Living, which is the agency tasked with funding nutrition programs for senior citizens.
Meals on Wheels spokeswoman Jenny Bertolette told reporters that federal funding is crucial to the organization. “While Meals on Wheels America and local Meals on Wheels programs are seeing an uptick in giving, it does not replace federal funding,” she said.
Secretary Tom Price released a statement earlier this week, saying, “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.”
It’s unknown whether or not the organization’s 5,000 local chapters have also seen a dramatic rise in donations.
It is important to note that the Meals on Wheels program is NOT being eliminated. Social media is on fire with claims to the contrary. Fact is, there is no mention of it in Trump’s new budget blueprint.
From fact checker site, Snopes.com
President Trump’s blueprint budget does not mention or target Meals on Wheels, nor would the adoption of that budget spell the end of Meals on Wheels. Rather, the blueprint contained a section proposing the elimination of funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program:
Eliminates funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, a savings of $3 billion from the 2017 annualized CR level. The Federal Government has spent over $150 billion on this block grant since its inception in 1974, but the program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results.
The Community Development Block Grand Program is used to fund a variety of community projects by providing grants to state and local governments, who then allocate the funds to city programs (of which Meals on Wheels is one example):
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a flexible program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Beginning in 1974, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to 1209 general units of local government and States.
The CDBG program works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. CDBG is an important tool for helping local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. The CDBG program has made a difference in the lives of millions of people and their communities across the Nation.
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