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Some area Meals on Wheels programs could see funding cuts - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Some area Meals on Wheels programs could see funding cuts

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Meals on Wheels programs around the nation are at risk of losing funding.

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

We have to reached Meals on Wheels locations in the Lowcountry to see if they will be impacted by the potential budget cuts. 

Meals on Wheels of Charleston could feel an impact. 

Donna Cook, the Executive Director of the Charleston Area Senior Citizens released the following statement Tuesday:

“Our agency –like most – is dependent on Federal and State funds for a large percentage of  our budget.  Meals on Wheels of Charleston serves 600 meals a day- over 161,000 meals a year- a total budget of more than $600,000.

Our total budget for Meals on Wheels is a little over $900,000 -- $600,000 of which comes through the Trident Area Agency on Aging.  Half of that amount is federal dollars and the other half is from the state. The remainder of our funds are from private grant funding or funding from our city and county partners:

-City of Charleston

-Charleston County

-City of North Charleston

-CDBG

-EFSP (Emergency Food and Safety Program)

If the cuts are significant it would affect our 2018 budget- so we would have a small window of time to try to raise funds to fill the gap. 

 The need for programs like Meals on Wheels that help support low income seniors who are trying to age in place are invaluable.  Our program not only provides a hot meal but also a daily safety check- often our drivers are the only person a client sees each day.  This daily contact allows agencies like ours to see when a senior may be declining and offer additional assistance.  Being aware of changes in a client’s health leads to better fall prevention and less hospitalization- which in turn- saves money for our health care system.

The fear of deep budget cuts like this drive me as Executive Director to see private funding from our local community businesses, foundations and individuals.  

How can the community help us?  Our program Adopt a Senior asks donors to sponsor a client for one month for $110.00 or for a year for $1320.00. Recurring payments can be set up on our website. We also utilize volunteer drivers for our routes each day-  there is nothing more impactful that placing a meal in the hands of a client!

Charleston is a city with a big heart- I am confident that our community will rally around its senior citizens to keep these programs running.”

The East Cooper Meals on Wheels won’t be affected, officials say.

The organization’s leaders say their funding generally comes from community donations, fund raising and private grants. 

They do not rely on federal funding – a reason they would not be affected by the potential cuts.

Hundreds of elderly in the community have meals thanks to volunteers with the East Cooper Meals on Wheels Program.

The organization delivers to those in the community who can't prepare a meal for themselves.

Those in the community volunteer on a daily basis—delivering meals and checking on the residents they serve.

Their efforts help with the three biggest threats among the aging and those in recovery from serious injury or illness -- hunger, isolation and loss of independence.

300 people are served on a daily basis and East Cooper Meals on Wheels provide more than 400 meals each day. The organization buys their food from Senior Catering and the Lowcountry Food Bank.  

The Summerville Meals on Wheels are a community-sponsored group and they do not get any government funds, the director said. They will not be affected.

We'll let you know if other locations get back to us. 

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