Local Meals on Wheels likely won’t be affected by federal budget cuts

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – There’s concern that President Trump’s budget proposal would slash funding to Meals on Wheels, a program that delivers food to older people. However, local programs said federal cuts won’t impact them.

Some Meals on Wheels programs get funding through an agency with the Department of Health and Human Services, which could be facing budget cuts.

But organizations in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys said they get most of their money independently.

Around the Sharon area, 75 people rely on food from the Shenango Valley’s Meals on Wheels fridge.

Melissa Adams said a potential budget cut would have little impact on their program.

“Actually, this didn’t affect us at all but we are kind of surprised it’s potentially happening.

Adams said they get money from fundraisers, donations, and payments from their clients.

The Mahoning County Meals on Wheels in Youngstown said concerned people have been calling Monday, asking if they’ll still be able to get food. The program’s director said they rely on their own money and services won’t stop.

Grove City Meals on Wheels in southwestern Mercer County also said they do not receive government money.

Columbiana’s Meals on Wheels Chair Rosalie Kurtz said much of the same. Their organization serves around 30 people throughout the northern part of the county.

Kurtz said they are an independent agency, getting their money from gift baskets and spaghetti dinners.

“None from the state. None from Washington, nope.”

The national office of Meals on Wheels saw 50 times the amount of donations following the release of the Trump administration budget plan. Volunteer sign-ups also jumped by 500 percent.