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Official Says Stay Tuned How Delivered Meals Will Be Affected

Wikimedia Commons Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen

As the chatter continues about President Trump's proposed budget, one of the programs targeted initially for potential cutbacks is what's commonly called Meals on Wheels, or meals delivered to senior citizens.

Oneida County Director on Aging Dianne Jacobson notes Meals on Wheels is the copyrighted name of an organization that does home delivered meals, but in Wisconsin, every county is designated to have a home delivered meal program.

Jacobson says the proposed cuts could impact a portion of their budget, but it's too soon to know....

"....over the years the number of older adults has increased, the demand has increased, but our funding has not increased. Our budget is made up of a variety of funding sources. About a third of our budget comes from Older Americans Act funding. A good third or more comes from donations. So if any listeners are concerned about this and concerned about this program not being able to serve any day of the week, you have the ability to send a check or donation to your local home delivered meal program...."

To fund the program, federal money comes to the state, which adds some money, then is relayed to the counties. Jacobson says every person who gets a meal is given the opportunity to donate to that meal and she says many do. Jacobson says any person is free to contact their elected representative at any time about any issue, but she says until more facts are known, she's cautious...

"....we caution people, we like it when you get into advocacy mode to tell elected officials what you think, but lets not get into the scare factor where Meals on Wheels or home delivered meals are going away. That is not what is happening...."

Jacobson says in Oneida County last year, 424 unduplicated people received 38,000 home delivered meals. Meals eaten on-site found 356 persons ate more than 16,000 meals.