San Antonians relying on Meals On Wheels fear cuts to program

San Antonians that rely on Meals on Wheels worry about cuts

SAN ANTONIO - March marks 15 years since Meals On Wheels began delivering food to the elderly across the country, but now those services might be at risk.

The Trump administration has proposed an 18 percent cut to the Department of Health and Human Services. Meals On Wheels gets 35 percent of their funding from that department. 

Norma Trevino, 67, is on Social Security and has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, which makes it hard for her to get around. She started getting a lunch every day through Meals On Wheels about a month ago. 

"I can't even walk to the store for one, and it's hard to get rides, and I can't afford taxis too much," she said. 

On Monday, Trevino received her lunch from a special deliverer: her District 1 councilman, Robert Trevino. 

"We're in an area of the district where there's a high concentration of elderly living in their homes, and we want to focus on many ways that we can help them age in place, have them live a life of dignity, and show some real compassion to some of our older citizens here in San Antonio," Councilman Trevino said.

Trevino and District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg delivered meals to elderly on Monday. They're bringing attention to the services that could be at risk of getting scaled back from some of the Trump administration's proposed budget cuts.

"We're certainly looking at it and trying to decide what other means we can track down to try to figure out the right funding right here locally," said Sandy Sullivan, a board member. 

In Washington D.C., Trump's budget director responded to criticism about potentially risking the services. 

"We can't do that anymore. We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good. And good, great, Meals On Wheels sounds great," said Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director. 

In San Antonio, Norma Trevino says that she doesn't know what she'd do without her daily meal.

"I'd probably just not eat right," she said. 

Last year, Meals On Wheels San Antonio delivered over one million meals to 5,300 seniors in Bexar County. 

After the proposed budget cuts were announced, the national office of Meals On Wheels said that they received 50 times the typical daily donations. Volunteers also jumped by 500 percent.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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