A surge in donations and volunteers for Meals on Wheels America after President Donald Trump proposed cutting funding to the program.
Meals on Wheels is a non-profit program that delivers food to millions of elderly, poor, and disabled Americans. The program has seen its online donations spike in the days following the release of the Trump Administration's budget proposal.
On a typical day, Meals on Wheels receives about $1,000 in unsolicited donations online. Last Friday and Saturday following the unveiling of Trump's budget, more than $100,000 was donated to Meals on Wheels online. There is also an uptick in the number of people volunteering to deliver the meals.
Meals on Wheels says the program not only delivers hot meals, but the visits to the elderly have been life saving. "We have on numerous occasions had older adults that we have had to call the ambulance on, and they wouldn't have been found for days and days, so it's not just a nutritional program, a check in program, but it could be a life or death program that nobody's going to have contact with these older adults for an extended period of time", said Kathy Fox, Director of a Meals on Wheels office.
Trump is proposing cutting the three billion dollar Community Development Block Grant program that partially funds Meals on Wheels. The Block Grant accounts for about 3% of Meals on Wheels' budget. 35% of its funding comes from the 'Older Americans Act' administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. Meals on Wheels relies heavily on donations.
A fundraiser will be held today in Mason on behalf of the Tri-County Office on Aging to benefit Meals on Wheels recipients in Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties. Ham dinners will be served for $5.99 at the A&W Restaurant on North Cedar Street in Mason between 11 a.m.-8 p.m. The Tri-County Office on Aging will receive a portion of the donation from each meal served. The local Meals on Wheels is also in need of volunteers as well to deliver meals to seniors.