Santa Barbara Meals on Wheels rolls on despite threat of budget cuts

Congressman Jim Mc Govern joins Tri Valley Inc. leaders and Meals on Wheels volunteers to bring meals to Central Massachusetts seniors. COURTESY

The Adult Resource Alliance held a Hero's Day event Thursday that welcomed community leaders to experience what is offered by the Meals on Wheels program.

The Act, which has supported senior nutrition programs for the past 45 years, provides 35 percent of funding for Meals on Wheels nationally.

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

The funding is now being threatened by the federal government, with a proposed cut of $6.2 billion from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, $3 billion of which now funds the Community Development Block Grant programs, a portion of which goes to Meal on Wheels, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. His budget director defended the cuts by commenting that Meals on Wheels sounds great, but doesn't work.

"If those funds are cut, that would close our doors because we have to have administration to run the programs", said Stephens-Brown. They want to do all these things, and that is huge for people.

"We need to make sure that we take care of the citizens here, especially the senior citizens, the most vulnerable are the ones you need to take care of", Mayor DeLoach said.




"With the senior population growing, there is going to be a bigger need", Calzadilla said.

Meals on Wheels of New Canaan does not solicit nor do we receive any money directly from the federal government.

"The nation's budget is a reflection of our collective values as a country and I don't think putting five million Americans out of the reach of having a nutritious meal is a value that we share", said the senator. It also highlighted the different ways home-delivered meal programs are funded, revealing a strong community base.

The questions about Meals on Wheels stem from two community development block grants that would be eliminated under Trump's proposed budget. "I thought this was for people much older than me, but if you get a bad disease, it happens".

At that time, in Montrose, Golden Circle Seniors surveyed those coming to lunch at the Montrose Pavilion Senior Center, and the majority in attendance directed Golden Circle to find a way to serve the meals daily, to both the congregate site and to the homebound.

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