Keller @ Large: Proposed Meals On Wheels Cut Is Disgusting

The truth is, even in the unlikely event that this budget cut makes it through the legislative process, it won't mean the end of Meals on Wheels, the program that provides thousands of mainly poor or isolated seniors with food and human contact they would otherwise go without.

Jenny Bertolette, vice president of communications at Meals on Wheels, said it saw "an nearly 500 percent jump in volunteer sign-ups" through their website AmericaLetsDoLunch.org.

Since most Meals on Wheels programs use funding from several sources, it's unlikely that the cuts will end the services completely.

But the federal "Budget Blueprint", released by the White House on Thursday, proposes to eliminate $3 billion worth of Community Development Block Grants that help programs like Meals on Wheels of Greater Lafayette.

Mulvaney said the budget would allocate $1.5 billion this year and $2.6 billion in 2018 to build a southern border wall, and would fund tests to determine the cost efficiency, safety, and effectiveness of different types of barriers. It's received $517 million in federal funding through the Older Americans Act, which supports social and nutritional services for Americans over the age of 60. The Budget devolves community and economic development activities to the State and local level, and redirects Federal resources to other activities.

"You have an "America First" candidate and you have an "America First" budget", Mulvaney said.

"I put myself in the shoes of that steelworker in OH, the coal-mining family in West Virginia, the mother of two in Detroit, and I'm saying, 'OK, I have to go ask these folks for money, and I have to tell them where I'm going to spend it'". "It really misses the mark", Collins said. "And I think that is about as compassionate as you can get".

But the 5,000 local Meals on Wheels offices, which do the layman's work of providing the meals and services to seniors, receive a significant chunk of their money from funding that could be on the chopping block.

And while Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the president drafted the budget "for the entire nation because that's who he sees himself representing", not everyone agrees, including former CBS anchor Dan Rather.

The NBC correspondent's slant emerged when he added, "It turns out, what they have to lose is at least $6 billion that goes to many programs that benefit those communities".

As you know, Meals on Wheels is not a federal program.

  • Leroy Wright