Fed. Budget Cuts Could Mean No Funding For Meals On Wheels

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than three thousand seniors are served meals daily in central Maryland, but the White House budget director said Thursday there’s no proof that Meals on Wheels is effective.

 

Trucks are loaded and on the road, all over central Maryland, and for some elderly, it’s the only daily visit they have.

But Thursday, the White House Budget Director included it in programs that don’t show any results.

“We’re just not showing any results. We can’t do that anymore on programs just because they sound good and meals on wheel sound great, again – that’s a state decision to fund that portion to take the federal money and give it to the states and say we want to give you money for programs that don’t work. I can’t defend that anymore,” says White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

But Meals on Wheels of central Maryland can and does defend it.

Stephanie Archer-Smith, Meals on Wheels Executive Director tells WJZ it’s upsetting to hear those words coming from federal officials.

“Well, it’s certainly infuriating because it demonstrates they haven’t done their homework. They haven’t looked at the research, the research is there that shows meals on wheels is an evidence-based practice. It works,” she says.

According to the Executive Director, for every eight dollars lost, one less person gets a meal. The White House defends the government approach as compassionate to taxpayers.

“We’re trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and folks who give us the money in the first place and I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say look we’re not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore.”

Unless the recipients can prove themselves worthy of taxpayer dollars.

Cuts may also be imposed on school lunches, public broadcasting and arts programs in addition to community projects.

Republicans leaders say this is just the beginning of the budget process.

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