Meals on Wheels would take a hit under President Trump's proposed budget


It is just before lunch time and the Meals on Wheels kitchen in Syracuse is churning out food.

Meals on Wheels delivers to Patricia Hoefler.

She has health problems that make cooking a chore.

She said it would be difficult if one day the meals stop coming.

"I guess I would have to learn to do more for myself - when I can, but it does help," Hoefler said.

In President Trump's proposed budget, the Meals on Wheels program could take a direct hit affecting people like Patricia.

Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that provides meals for older, impoverished Americans.

In Syracuse, the program serves more than 750 people and delivered more than 215,000 meals last year.

Mason Kaufman, director of Syracuse Meals on Wheels, is already operating within a strict budget.

"It would mean more people not getting meals. More people waiting longer. Who knows how long they'd have to wait for meals and these are people that are coming out of hospitals, they're frail seniors. They can't wait. They'll go hungry," Kaufman said.

The Syracuse office could see about a 30 percent cut in federal funding.

The cut could be potentially end food delivery for many.

Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's budget director, said Meals on Wheels is not showing results.

"We can't do that anymore, we can't just spend money on programs just because they sound good and great...and Meals on Wheels sounds great," Mulvany said.

Kaufman said more and more people are depending on the service.

The Syracuse program has seen a 17 percent increase in need over the past year.

"To say to the most vulnerable of us, 'sorry you're going to have to figure it out yourself,' is just not conscionable," Kaufman said.

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