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Meals On Wheels Faces Sequester Cuts

February 28, 2013, 9:54 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Meals On Wheels Faces Sequester Cuts

Meals on Wheels could be facing some new challenges if Washington doesn't come to an agreement by Friday.

With sequestration talks still in the air and no mutual agreement in sight, local Meals on Wheels programs could be on the chopping block.

"I am just taking it day by day. That's all you can do," Meals on Wheels Nutrition Director Melissa Townsend said.

Nationally, the Meals on Wheels program is expecting five percent cuts from federal funding over the next 10 years.
And up to 11,000 meals could be cut in the Sioux Falls area.

With the large baby boomer generation coming up to the plate, a lack of funding could greatly impact other parts their lives.

"With possible funding cuts and not being able to get meals out to everybody. It could potentially impact to where some of these people could not stay in their homes any longer and have to go into a nursing home," Townsend said.

"I've been along to deliver meals and some of those people, I couldn't see how they could be at home. And it wouldn't be for Meals on Wheels, they wouldn't be at home," Meals on Wheels volunteer Edgar Goehring said.

Goehring is 90-years-old and has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels for 12 years now. He says he does it to stay active and because he believes in the cause.

"There's a lot of people who can't get out to help themselves to eat. They're supposed to get one good meal a day, this way I think," Goehring said.

Townsend says they will do everything they can to ensure all of their clients still get a good meal.

"In my mind, there will be no way that we will cut meals for seniors. There will be no way. We will find a way to continue to serve that population," said Townsend.

Meals on Wheels in our area serves four counties including: Lincoln, Minnehaha, Turner and Cook.

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