Proposed budget could hurt Meals on Wheels

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Meals on Wheels, the service that provides food to older adults and those who have a hard time getting around, could see a funding cut under President Donald Trump's budget proposal.

The exact size of the cut is unknown, but White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the government "can't spend money on programs just because they sound good."

Mulvaney says "Meals on Wheels sounds great," but he can't defend a plan to take the federal money and give it to the states.

In Lincoln, Tabitha provides the Meals on Wheels program. President and CEO Christie Hinrichs said, “No doubt, results of any type of cuts would deliver quite a blow to Tabitha’s bottom-line."

Information provided from Tabitha showed current plans "would equal an estimated average deficit of $22,000 per month or over $250,000 annually."

Hinrichs added, “For the past 50 years, Tabitha, a non-profit, has been serving up Tabitha Meals on Wheels to those who rely on a hot meal to stay on their own in the comfort and safety of their home. We have countless heartwarming and heartbreaking stories that demonstrate how we’ve made a positive impact in both Elder and disabled resident’s lives along with their families. As we continue to face limited funding with state Medicaid cuts looming and now this latest Meals on Wheels conversation, it is important to spotlight this lifeline program.”

Tabitha said it takes $6.25 to deliver a meal and 70% of people can't afford the full cost of the meal. More than 1,000 volunteers deliver meals a month and more than 550 meals are delivered each day.

Tabitha stressed while the budget plans are not clear, the non-profit hoped people would keep them at the top of their minds and it needs community support now more than ever. To learn more about Tabitha's program, you can click on the link to the right.

Nationally, donations to Meals on Wheels programs have surged since the President released his budget.

The national office of Meals on Wheels saw 50 times the typical amount of daily donations following release of the budget plan the Trump Administration. Volunteer sign ups also jumped by 500%.