Local News

Trump's budget could mean 110 go without Meals on Wheels in Wake County

Posted March 20, 2017 10:18 p.m. EDT
Updated March 20, 2017 11:18 p.m. EDT

Days after President Donald Trump released his federal budget plan, many have wondered how it will impact organizations and groups.

Trump's proposed budget does not completely do away with Meals on Wheels, but what some are calling a small cut in federal funding could make a big difference for the organization in Wake County.

Millie Dunn Veasey is a 99-year-old World War II veteran with stories to tell. She has seen and done what some could only dream of and is still able to do a lot, but she knows gathering and preparing meals is pretty much out of the question for her.

“I would not be able to. Actually, I would be moved into a nursing home really, which I would hate to do right now,” Veasey said.

Veasey receives hot meals from Meals on Wheels Wake County.

Most federal money supporting Meals on Wheels comes from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Trump administration has proposed cutting DHHS funding by nearly 18 percent, but it is unclear what programs would be directly impacted.

A spokesperson for the administration said federal dollars only account for about 3 percent of funding for Meals on Wheels.

“For every dollar in public funding that we get from the federal, state and county government, we do raise about $2,” said Alan Winstead with Wake Meals on Wheels.

Although the 3 percent of funding from the federal government may not sound like much, Winstead said it could mean a loss of several thousand dollars.

“Based on the proposed budget that the president released just last week, we would estimate that about $200,000 would be cut from our program and that means that we would not have enough money to feed 110 people,” he said.

Veasey said, for her, Meals on Wheels is more than just a hot meal.

“Meals on Wheels’ smiling faces help me during the day,” she said.

Winstead said even though the official impact of the budget cuts on Meals on Wheels is unclear, they are using the time to advocate and raise money for the program.