Federal budget cuts could impact local Meals on Wheels program - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Federal budget cuts could impact local Meals on Wheels program

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Volunteers with Nutrition & Services for Seniors in Beaumont deliver about 1,300 meals a day to homebound seniors in Jefferson and Hardin Counties. 

"It saves time, and when you're on Social Security and pension, it helps a lot financially," said Nella Minner, who has meals delivered to her home in Beaumont.

But with steep federal budget cuts expected to take effect March 1, Meals on Wheels programs across the country could be in trouble. And that's something that worries Nutrition & Services for Seniors executive director Elaine Shellenberger.

"Seniors depend on these meals in order to remain at home, and that's where they want to be," she said.

Shellenberger says the center receives about 80% of its funding from the federal government. She says that funding could be cut by as much as 8% come March. With gas and food as the center's main costs, Shellenberger says cuts could lead to reduced services like fewer meal deliveries.

"Sometimes when decisions are made at a higher level, they are not seeing the real person that's affected," Shellenberger said.

Real people like Minner, who hopes she never sees the deliveries stop coming.

"I would be very disappointed. I'm 86 I shouldn't be driving I'm getting too old," Minner said.

But Shellenberger is trying to remain optimistic. She says the center is dedicated to making sure seniors receive the services, and hopes that continued community support and donations will help ensure all seniors get the meals they need.


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