This week's featured organization is Meals on Wheels. The mission of Meals on Wheels is to provide nutritious meals and other services that enable America's seniors to live independently and with dignity.
Meals on Wheels is actually comprised of more than 5,000 community-based programs across the United States. A Meals on Wheels branch exists in almost every community in America. More than two million volunteers in these communities deliver meals, enjoy friendly visits, and perform wellness checks. The national organization, Meals on Wheels America, provides funding, leadership, research, education and advocacy support, to these local member programs.
Last week, the Trump administration's new budget proposal was unveiled. Among the many deep cuts to social programs that have been proposed, it was learned that the funding received by Meals on Wheels from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is at risk.
Here's the truth about Meals on Wheels in Trump's budget [USA Today]
Trump’s Budget Would Kill Funds for a Program That Feeds 2.4 Million Senior Citizens [Time]
Meals on Wheels Cuts in Trump Budget Would Hit Local Seniors [NBC-Washington]
Meals on Wheels is not a federal program - it is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit that receives much of its funding from the federal government by way of the 'Older Americans Act Nutrition Program'.
Last week, several news outlets originally reported that Meals on Wheels only receives 3% of their budget from HHS. In fact, that amount is only what's provided to the national organization, which does not provide direct services. It is the local programs in aggregate that receive 35% of their funding from HHS, and even more local funding is at stake at the state level if the Community Service Block Grant and Community Development Block Grant are eliminated as has been proposed.
A loss of 35% of their budget nationwide could cripple Meals on Wheels operations and put millions of seniors at risk. 1 in 6 seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and 1 in 4 lives alone in isolation. With the senior population expected to double by 2050, now is the time to infuse new life and energy into this effort, not cut it off at the knees.
To find out how you can help, visit Meals on Wheels at:
If you're interested in volunteering and doing some good work for the seniors in your own community, visit their "Let's Do Lunch" campaign site, where you can enter your zip code and be directed to the MoW volunteer organization in your neighborhood:
If you're concerned about the wide-ranging cuts to other social programs, let your Senators and Representative know! Visit whoismyrepresentative.com, enter your zip code, find their contact information and give each of them a call.
And finally, if you're interested in finding other organizations helping to feed the hungry in America, visit this page on ProgressiveGiving.com: