Federal Budget Cuts Would Reduce Services to Elderly Residents
Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County receives 48% of its funding from government sources. Each year there is concern for budget cuts that would adversely impact funding streams that we so desperately rely on to provide for all who need and qualify for home-delivered meals and other services that we provide. Sometimes the funding is reduced and sometimes it is increased, but mostly remains flat. For this reason, we work very hard to raise funds within our own community from individuals, businesses, foundations, churches, and civic groups. Many of the clients receiving meals voluntarily contribute what little they have toward the cost of their meals.
The flurry of reports about eliminating funding for senior nutrition programs is indeed alarming and we are concerned. We will continue to closely monitor the federal budget process and do all we can to make sure that federal funding for senior nutrition programs is not eliminated. For many of our clients, the meals we deliver and the friendly volunteer visits are what keep them out of hospitals and nursing homes. Funding home-delivered meals programs is not only the right thing to do, but it saves valuable taxpayer dollars by keeping people out of taxpayer-funded nursing homes and other care facilities. A recent study by Brown University documented that every $1 spent on home-delivered meals saves $50 in Medicaid and Medicare spending by enabling people to remain in their own home, where they really want to be.
I want to thank all of our volunteers and donors who have called to express concern over the media frenzy surrounding this critical service. Many of you have asked what you can do to help us. The best way to help for now is to continue doing what you do to support Tarrant County’s homebound population. Continue your volunteer meal delivery and brighten the day for all who receive meals from your hands. Continue to donate to Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County because 52% of our $6.8 million dollar annual budget depends on local support. It is important for you to know that all of the money we raise stays right here in Tarrant County to help our homebound residents. Plus, we work hard to be good stewards of your money, so we want you to know that 86¢ out of every dollar donated goes directly to providing services for those in need.
I also ask you to pray for our country, and that this issue will be resolved so that our senior citizens will not have to worry about where their next meal will come from. Pray that our leaders will recognize the importance of the senior nutrition programs all across America. Finally, share your concerns with our elected officials in Washington because they are our first line of defense for the federal budget. You can easily contact your representative at www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Thank you for your concern for this vulnerable population. We promise to keep you informed as this situation progresses.
President & CEO
Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County