President Trump's budget could hurt Meals on Wheels

Trump's budget could hurt Meals on Wheels

President Donald Trump has proposed cuts in next year's spending, and some say that could hurt seniors right here in Central Georgia.

Michael O’Neal and Jerry Jones drive around east Macon delivering hot meals to elderly and disabled twice a week.

91-year-old Albert Jasper is on their Monday route.  

“It's a lifesaver. Without it, I'd have a hard time,” Jasper said. “I can’t stand over the stove and cook.  It’s a hard job when you’re trying to ride on a walker.”

He gets a meal every day, Monday through Friday, delivered by volunteers like Jones and O'Neal.

“I really honestly believe that they would starve because some people don't have anybody any family members or anybody that’s there to care for them,” O’Neal said.

Meals on Wheels may have to figure out a different route if President Trump’s budget proposal goes unchanged.

The president wants to slash $3 billion from a federal grant program used to fund initiatives like Meals on Wheels.  

"We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good, and great,” White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said.

Leaders at the Middle Georgia agency say they serve about 1,000 people, and a change in federal funds could impact about a quarter of them.

“When I look at money, I look at meals, so I’m looking at maybe 73,344 meals, which would affect 285 clients,” Executive Director Tanya Graham-Simms said.

State funds and generous donations make up the rest of Meals on Wheels' budget.

“I pray about it. Please don’t take Meals on Wheels away from the old people because they would have nothing to eat, and that’s sad,” client Joyce Waller said.

As for Jasper, he’s thankful for the visitors he gets each day and warm meal to keep him nourished.

“I really need it, it’s helpful to me more than anybody would probably know,” Jasper said.

To volunteer or donate to Meals on Wheels, click here. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment