Raleigh, N.C. — Meals on Wheels of Wake County will be serving 12,000 fewer meals this year because of federal budget cuts, officials said Monday.
Since 1965, the Older Americans Act has funded nutrition programs to combat senior hunger, allowing elderly people to eat more nutritious meals and live independently in their own homes, rather than move into nursing homes.
“More senior adults are applying for Meals on Wheels than ever before,” Meals on Wheels Executive Director Alan Winstead said in a statement. “Cuts in federal funding means that we must leave qualified participants on a waiting list and potentially cut current clients. The reality is that we need more money to buy more nutritious meals for more people. The last thing our most vulnerable neighbors and family members need is to lose this essential service.”
Meals on Wheels of Wake County services are open to any senior citizen over age 60 who lives in the county. The agency has about 2,200 volunteers who deliver more than 1,300 meals each weekday.
“At a time when more people are turning 60, more seniors are living longer, and more seniors are at risk for going hungry, we need more, not fewer, resources to meet the needs of our community,” Winstead said.