Federal budget cut hurts Meals on Wheels

My Two Cents
My Two Cents

There’s been some misinformation circulating, on the internet, that claims Meals on Wheels would cease to exist if Trump cuts its funding. According to Forbes that’s not true, however there’s more to the story. Here’s the real deal.

Meals on Wheels IRS filing for 2015 said that approximately 3.3% of its funding comes from the government. Most of its funding comes from corporate and foundation grants, with individual contributions being the second-largest source. Government grants are the fifth-largest source of revenue. If parts of the block grants were eliminated, Meals on Wheels wouldn’t disappear. According to Meals on Wheels they now cannot keep up with the growing demand from seniors. An important bit of info to note is that Meals on Wheels passes funding down to 5,000 local groups that provide food, and they might be affected by the funding cut. Will there be consequences for the program and these others, according to Forbes, yes.

It appears that while Trump’s proposed cuts to Meals on Wheels may not eliminate that program, it will negatively affect it and local groups that provide food. Some of you may not see that as a big deal, but I do. A few years ago, my wife had been a volunteer at the Hope Lutheran Church Food Closet near New Castle, Delaware. Most of the folks she served were working folks whose salary didn’t go far enough and as a result both they and their kids were hungry. Also many seniors who had become the guardians of their grandchildren found that their Social Security checks didn’t go far enough to feed both them and the grandkids they were now providing for. These folks came to Hope’s food closet to get a bag of groceries that consisted of stuff like a couple of cans of tuna, bread, some pasta, and some cans of vegetables. Not exactly eating high on the hog. These folks were hungry, and definitely weren’t living like the rich and famous.

So if cutting that 3.3 percent of Meals on Wheels money somehow affects local food programs like Hope’s food closet, and apparently it does, according to that article from Forbes, then Yes, Trump is wrong to cut that 3.3 percent funding, in my opinion.

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Real people with real needs are being helped by that money. I’d much rather see my tax dollars spent to feed folks than pay for all that security so that little Baron and Melania can stay in Trump Tower rather than move to DC where they belong. Oh we can’t make that poor student change schools midyear.

Funny. Military kids get moved all the time and no one worries about them changing schools midyear, so why should the Commander in Chief’s kid get better treatment. Then there’s Trump’s weekly vacations to Florida that wastes millions of dollars each week. I find it amazing that those fiscally focused Republicans don’t care about all this financial waste.

Trump campaigned saying he really cared about the little people. Yet I know so much of what he said and continues to say is total malarkey. If Trump really did care about the elderly, the kids, and the working class folks, he would save all that money and use it to fund things like food programs, etc., by moving his family to the White House and cutting out the weekend vacations to Florida. How interesting it is that Trump businesses are the one’s getting a major part of that money, Trump Tower in New York City and Trump’s Florida resort. This has got to be a conflict of interest and some sort of violation of law. So where are the Democrats? It’s time for this nonsense to stop. Had Obama tried to do this, you can bet your bottom dollar the GOP would have been screaming and demanding immediate action.

I had no problem with Trump doing a retaliatory response to Assad. In fact I wanted him to do something since Obama didn’t have the stones to do something, the last time Assad stepped over the Red Line, but what Trump did was totally useless.

Since the Russians are there working with Assad, Trump had to notify them of what he was going to do, because starting World War III wouldn’t be a good or sane thing to do. This gave the “Ruskies” time to get their men and equipment out of there. Gee, do you think Putin might have also tipped off Assad?? No real damage done to Assad at the cost of approximately $30 million dollars. That would have funded Meals on Wheels and those local food providers and accomplished far more good.

So bottom line is if Trump cuts the funding on Meals on Wheels, it won’t disappear, but it will affect local providers of food to the poor. So it may only be 3.3 percent of their budget, but apparently that 3.3 percent is important in terms of some folks getting to eat something tomorrow which in my view makes it a big deal.

Mike Cannatelli’s column appears every other week in both the Avon Grove Sun and Kennett News and on occasion in the online edition.