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Meals on Wheels worried about proposed budget

Meals on Wheels worried about...

SPOKANE, Wash. - Senior meal programs across the county are keeping a close eye on the budget proposed by the Trump administration.

Here in Spokane County, Meals on Wheels receives nearly three quarters of a million dollars from the Federal Government.

Our community has two Meals on Wheels operations. One, downtown on second, already lost their federal funding years ago.

The second, on Sprague, is the Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels. If they lost federal dollars it would equate to about half of their operating budget.

Pam Almeida isn't a political person, she's a caring community leader dedicating her career to those in need.
But lately, she's been losing sleep over news out of our nation's capitol.

“It's government funding, private funding, and volunteer hours. All going together to take care of our most vulnerable,” she said.

Almeida's operation served 272,000 meals to home-bound seniors last year. That's quite a task and only possible thanks to an army of volunteers, private donations, and a big check from Uncle Sam.

“I am so worried about what's going to happen with the budget and what's going to happen to our senior if the President's budget goes through,” sid Almeida.

The organization receives about $90,000 every year from health and human services through the Older Americans Act.

More than $6,000 in Pam's annual budget comes from Community Development Block Grants. 

And if that money goes away, Pam says “people would go hungry.”

“We're at the cusp of a waiting list as it is, and we have no other resources,” she said.

Pam says it's unlikely that money could be replaced any other way.

She's asking the elderly clients she serves to use the very paper plates they eat their meals on to write lawmakers explaining what the program means to them.