Meals on Wheels Program in Danger of the Fiscal Cliff

Our Meals on Wheels program may see more cuts to its funding next year, if Congress doesn't do something to avoid the fiscal cliff.

That's the term used to describe some $7 billion worth of tax hikes and cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels.

There are some 900 meals served to the needy through the Meals on Wheels program. It provides a hot lunch for the elderly, and is delivered to their front door.

Right now, the program director says they have seen a five-percent reduction in federal funding. That could go up by another 6.5-percent next year if Congress doesn't continue to fund it at the same level it does right now, which officials say isn't keeping up with demand.

Council signed off on accepting a $248,000 federal grant for the program on Tuesday. It's not nearly enough money to cover the costs of providing the meals. It costs about $1,500 a year to feed each person.

So, the program relies on various fundraisers and donations throughout the year to survive.

"Congress really needs to take a hard look at what we're going to do in terms of funding allocations for different programs," said Elsa Munoz, of Meals on Wheels. "I mean, do we want to keep people in their homes, or do you want them to go into institutions which are a lot higher than $122 a month for a meal."

The director of our Meals on Wheels program said that the red flag needs to be raised over the senior hunger question.

There are 185 people on the waiting list to have a meal delivered to their home.


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