Trump administration budget cuts could impact Meals on Wheels program in New Jersey

The Meals on Wheels program may be impacted by President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal, even though it is not a federal program.

The Meals on Wheels program may see financial impacts under the Trump administration's new budget.

The Meals on Wheels program may see financial impacts under the Trump administration's new budget. (3/20/17)

WESTWOOD - The Meals on Wheels program may be impacted by President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal, even though it is not a federal program.

The Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels program receives about $32,000 of funds a year through Community Development Block Grants.  President Trump's budget recently proposed ending the grants.

Meals on Wheels is not solely dependent on the grants. For the Pascack Valley program it's about 10 percent.  Typically most of the federal funding comes through the Department of Health and Human Services, which is also facing a potentially large budget cut. The national attention has prompted more private citizens to help.

"The good thing about this whole mess is that we're getting more volunteers and donors, but the bad thing is it's not going to last,” says Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels Director Jeanne Martin.

The Pascack Valley program delivers food to 220 clients who are unable to go out and get food on their own.

"We were just at a home…when we went to the put the meals in the refrigerator, there was absolutely nothing in it.  Not even a bottle of ketchup,” says Westwood Mayor John Birkner Jr.

But Martin says the program is not just about delivering food, but also being an extra set of eyes and ears to take care of the community.

"We've had a number of saves for our clients.  We've had people who've had strokes, minor strokes, people wouldn't even have noticed, but our drivers notice it," Martin says.

Meals on Wheels America says the organization represents about 5,000 meal delivery programs across the country.

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