SUSSEX CO., Del. - Hundreds of thousands of senior citizens in Delaware could go without meal services if congressional domestic-spending cuts take effect March 1st.
Meals On Wheels funding under the Older Americans Act faces a minimum of 8.8% across the board reduction in Delaware. Meals On Wheels administration say the cuts will be compressed into 7 months instead of a full year, which they fear will make the impact that much greater.
They say under the best scenario, an estimated 19 million fewer meals, and approximately 200,000 seniors would lose their home-delivered meals nationwide.
How sequester cuts will impact Delaware, and specifically CHEER's Meals On Wheels program in Sussex County is not entirely clear at this point.
William Love, Director, Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities said, "If the sequestering legislation is implemented as currently written, Older Americans Act funds would be cut 8.8% across the board including funding for home delivered and congregate meal programs. Depending on the specifics actually passed and on the timing, we might be able to delay the immediate impact, but eventually there will be an 8.8% cut in federal funds. This will be a very significant cut and seniors and others will be hurt by the reduced service level at a time when our senior population is growing."