Regarding the March 17 editorial “Trump budget would slash vital funding”: Addressing a question regarding Meals on Wheels, the White House budget director stated, “We are not gonna spend it (money) on programs that cannot show that they actually ‘deliver’ the promises that we’ve made to people.”
As someone who has volunteered for Meals on Wheels of Wake County, I along with countless other volunteers can vouch for the fact that the organization “delivers” on its promise to provide hot meals to some of our most vulnerable residents – and has been doing so for 43 years.
There is 43 years of real evidence (not alternate facts) that proves the program makes a difference in the lives of the 1,300 homebound and vulnerable seniors served every day.
Over 2,600 individuals were served in Wake County during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Meals on Wheels of Wake County receives about 47 percent of its annual budget from the federal Community Development Block Grant Program, the largest single source of its funding.
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It is dishonest to slash funding for Meals on Wheels on the basis that the program is not effective. If the administration does not want to fund Meals on Wheels, afterschool programs, free and reduced lunch programs, etc., then it should have the courage of its convictions and just say so.
As someone raised by my grandmother and who benefited from free and reduced lunch, I am in disbelief at the lack of compassion for people young and old who genuinely cannot control their circumstance.
Evidence shows that almost 1 in 4 children in North Carolina are food insecure. There is also the possibility of cuts to the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Approximately 50,886 students in the WCPSS qualify for the program. Some of those kids may receive their only meal of the day at school.
In response, the Wake County Board of Commissioners has worked diligently to address child hunger by ensuring at least one dedicated food resource such as Universal School Breakfast, a food pantry or a backpack distribution program at our most high poverty schools. As for Wake County, it is a priority to feed poor children and seniors.
Wake County Commissioner
The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the editorial.