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Defunding Meals on Wheels won’t end organization

Senior Resources Columbia, S.C. website

Senior Resources Columbia, S.C. website

Kristin Weaver, staff writer

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to defund the Meals on Wheels program has caused panic among many Americans, but defunding the program will not put an end to it as a whole.

On March 15, Trump released his “Budget Blueprint,” including plans to eliminate funding to the Community Development Block Grant program, which provides partial funding for local Meals on Wheels groups.

Meals on Wheels is a service for people age 60 and older who are homebound and unable to cook or shop for themselves, according to the Meals on Wheels America website.

This has caused many to panic, worrying that Meals on Wheels would cease to exist. However, Meals on Wheels receives only three percent of its budget from government funding, according to a 2015 Meals on Wheels financial report. Corporate and foundation grants make up around 84 percent.

This comes as good news to those who support the organization, but it is still uncertain what effect this three percent budget cut will have.

Meals on Wheels is much more than a food delivery service to many of the elderly individuals who use it. While home-delivered meal programs improve diet quality among participants, many of these individuals reported less loneliness than those who do not participate, according to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

These programs also help older adults maintain independence and remain in their home, according to a separate study by SAGE journals.

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Defunding Meals on Wheels won’t end organization