Federal sequester cuts hit local Meals on Wheels - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Federal sequester cuts hit local Meals on Wheels


The federal sequestration is hitting home in the Tri-States and, it looks like "Meals on Wheels" could be the next program to face cuts.

Meals on Wheels Deliverer Candy Spann stops at 26 houses a day in Pike County, Illinois, one of those belonging to Robert Williams.

"It's just so easy," said Williams. "I can put them things in the microwave on my own if I have to."

Williams is a Polio victim who depends on a hoist to get him in and out of bed. Williams says he has been relying on the home delivered meals for several years and can't stand to think what he would do without them.

"I don't know what I'd do with my income and everything," said Williams. "I just can't afford these groceries, they're higher than a kite."

But, the 'what if' is something Williams may have to consider after funding for the Meals on Wheels program suffered a $27,000 cut back in March due to federal sequester cuts.

"Now we are at the point where 'please don't cut any more because I can't make up the difference someplace else,'" said Gail Murry, director of nutrition for the West Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging.

Murry says they're still judging the exact impact of the funding cuts. They may have to serve fewer meals, and a waiting list may be added to the program.

"I'm trying to hold our level of service where it is and I'm trying to sustain what we have," said Murry.

Mildred Cawthon is another Meals on Wheels recipient who hopes the level of service she receives will continue in the future.

"I think it's a good program, especially for people like me that have to help themselves sometimes," said Cawthon.

Murry says federal funds will be allotted to each region later on this month. That's when she'll have a better grip on exactly what will be cut.

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