By Melissa Fares
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Meals on Wheels America, the umbrella organization for 5,000 food-delivery providers for seniors, said on Saturday that online donations have risen since the White House published a budget proposal that could lead to a big drop in your budget. money.
The organization, which provides advocacy services for the national network, received about $ 50,000 on Thursday after the budget plan was announced, compared to $ 1,000 on a typical day.
President Donald Trump‘s first budget proposal includes a 17.9 percent cut for fiscal year 2018 in funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, which provides the majority of government support for Meals on Wheels, the said. organization.
The budget proposal did not say how the cut would affect the Administration for Community Living, the HHS agency that funds nutrition programs for the elderly, Meals on Wheels spokeswoman Jenny Bertolette said.
Meals on Wheels said on its website that it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the next federal budget won’t have an impact on its services.
“While Meals on Wheels America and local Meals on Wheels programs are seeing an increase in donations, they are not replacing federal funding,” Bertolette told Reuters in an email.
The White House referred questions about the HHS budget to the department.
An HHS representative referred to a statement from Secretary Tom Price released earlier this week. “HHS is dedicated to fulfilling our department’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the American people. This budget supports that mission and will help ensure that we are providing critical services to our fellow citizens,” the statement said.
Trump’s budget proposal calls for a sharp increase in military spending and a similar reduction in most discretionary non-defense programs, prompting a wave of concern among Democrats and some of the president’s fellow Republicans.
Bertolette said the national Meals on Wheels association did not know if its local members had seen a similar increase in donations.
One in six older people “fights hunger,” according to the organization, which offers its services free of charge to those who cannot pay.
Older people who receive fresh meals daily show greater improvement in health and well-being than those who receive frozen meals once a week or do not receive any meals, the organization said, citing research from Brown University and funded by AARP Inc.
According to the website, Meals on Wheels America houses a resource center on nutrition with the help of federal funds.
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