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Albany County executive tries to ease fears of 'Meals on Wheels' cuts

Colin Kaepernick

"It seems to me we should be investing more money into programs like Meals on Wheels, that help people live the life they want to live, they'll age successfully, and it's going to save everybody money", said Patti Lyons, President of Senior Citizens Inc.

The fundraising and volunteer recruitment message from Meals on Wheels is clear. In two days, the charity got more than $100,000 in donations - 50 times more than they'd normally receive.

Good news for us, though. "It's reassuring that the public has stepped up".

Manatee County elected officials will deliver meals to local clients from March 20 to March 24.

The program has been targeted for possible cuts in a budget proposal released by the White House.

"Seniors in your communities need Meals on Wheels". Federal funding is at risk. We can not defend that anymore.

Democrats sought Sunday to shame the Trump administration for a budget that takes away resources for programs like Meals on Wheels. There is now no evidence that any of these programs are being cut or that their budget reductions would affect Meals on Wheels programs.

"What if it was your grandmother, or grandfather, or your aunt or your uncle, that they just needed one meal a day to help them through.that's why you should donate", says Libarkin.

"Our funding comes from other entities through federal grants and other areas". The CDBG is a federal grant program that uses state money to fund various community and social programs at their discretion.

The Southern Maine Agency on Aging, which provides meals to elderly in Maine's Cumberland and York counties, said it would be "shortsighted" to cut that funding. More than 2.4 million older Americans are served each year, including more than 500,000 veterans. "To think of a cut, any amount of cut is really unsafe". Trump's budget cuts HHS spending by about 16.2 percent, but does not include a line item for the Older Americans Act or Meals on Wheels.

The Trump Administration's 2018 budget proposal would cut $3 billion allocated to the Community Block grant Program.

Bertolette says there would be a "more sweeping negative impact" on Meals on Wheels if that funding shrinks. "This budget would add insult to injury". Both Republican and Democratic legislators have promised to protect the Meals on Wheels program. A spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget declined to clarify Mulvaney's remarks in response to queries from HuffPost on Friday and Monday. "I wouldn't panic yet".

"We should be increasing federal funding, not decreasing, because our seniors are increasing at a very dramatic rate", Jutson says. Bertolette and Ellie Hollander, CEO and president of Meals on Wheels, said that the program keeps seniors healthy, prevents falls, and keeps them out of the expensive health care system.

Shea-Porter said she will look out for program participants. He's not even cutting it.