Md. seniors will be impacted by severe funding cuts to MAC Center
SALISBURY, Md. – State funding for the MAC Center in Salisbury was drastically cut by 46 percent. That’s a cut that directors for the center say will directly impact our most vulnerable population.
“It’s going to be an uphill climb here for a while,” says Pattie Tingle, Executive Director for MAC Inc. Area Agency On Aging.
The unexpected funding cut for MAC’s nutrition service programs is so drastic that officials tell 47 ABC it could impact almost 150 seniors across the Eastern Shore.
“The cut is a profound cut because it not only impacts our meals programs in Wicomico County but because MAC is the Area Agency on Aging we are impacting meals in four counties,” says Tingle.
Tingle says the slash in funding is because $113,000 is being reallocated to more urban areas in the state. “The larger more populated counties have a greater number of people living below poverty level at the age of 60 or older,” says Tingle. She adds that she doesn’t think it’s fair to adjust funding solely based on population size. Tingle says these cuts mean, “Taking money away from the rural counties who are challenged with the delivery costs that urban counties do not have.”
Tingle tells 47 ABC they’ve already had to eliminate excess costs and this is not a decision they were prepared for.
“At this point, we can not eliminate any more. At this point, what’s going to happen beginning July 1, is we are going to be serving less meals. We’re going to be serving few were seniors and we may be looking at layoffs for staff,” says Tingle.
As they look to the future, the MAC Center hopes to continue running as normal as possible, for as long as possible.
“We’re going to have to look at: can we continue programs in certain areas and certain counties? Or will we have to suspend operations?”
For now, MAC’s future is up in the air as they grapple with providing care for those who need it most.
Tingle says she’s also reaching out to local legislators to see if they can re-examine their budget and make some shifts moving forward into the new year. They’re also going to look at other areas that had funding cut across the state — to see how they’re dealing with the changes.
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