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Menendez Keeps Focus on Budget Battles, As Legal Battle Looms

25 March 2017

One of the many programs that would be negatively affected by the budget cut is Yankton's Meals on Wheels program.

Meals on Wheels is back in the national spotlight because of President Donald Trump's proposed budget for next year, which could have an impact on the organization.

Toscano said the nonprofit service, which served 66,000 meals in this area a year ago, not only provides nourishment and visits to low-income homebound residents, many of them elderly, but it also saves money.

"We can serve a senior in Meals on Wheels for an entire year at the cost of them being in the hospital for one day or a nursing home for eight days", she said.

While only plans of eliminating federal programs, including the Community Services Block Grant and the Community Development Block Grant, which fund other Meals on Wheels around the country, have been released thus far, details for budget cuts concerning the Older Americans Act, through which MIFA receives Meal on Wheels funding, have not yet been released.

The program is at the center of political debate now, with President Trump proposing cuts to federal funding. True, as Kevin Ressler says, if Meals on Wheels were to lose 35 percent of its government funding, it would be in danger.

"We're here for everybody that needs our help and we plan on being here for a long time", Jackson said.

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Those with Mobile Meals said they'll continue to help the elderly regardless of how the budget shakes out. "They just depend on it", said Director of Community Nutrition Services at Community Action Alger-Marquette, Lori Stephens-Brown.

Cox said she and her board are trying not to panic in order to not alarm the seniors the programs serve.

The event, which will be held today, March 24 begins at 3 Meals on Wheels for WNY Headquarters, 100 James E. Casey Drive, Buffalo.

Any homebound person who's at least 60 and can't regularly prepare their own food is eligible for Meals on Wheels; there is no income test.

"For us, it's scary", said CEO and President Pamela Calzadilla. They know how to live on a piece of bread, and they shouldn't have to.

In the past six months, 370 individuals in the community received 30,500 hot meals.

Menendez Keeps Focus on Budget Battles, As Legal Battle Looms