CommUnity Meals seeing hardships of federal sequestration

By: Zach Berridge Email
By: Zach Berridge Email

DELTA, Colo. (KKCO) CommUnity Meals is a program run by the Volunteers of America that distributes up to five meals per week to the homes of the elderly, disabled, or otherwise home-bound.

Their "Meals on Wheels" volunteers typically go to the houses during lunch each weekday to provide a hot, home-cooked dish, and there are hundreds who depend on it.

But due to the federal sequesters, the funding for this program has taken a big hit.

"The number of meals that we were serving last year was 115,000," said Deana Sheriff of the VOA. "We're having to cut that back to 75,000 this year."

That means on average, each person will be receiving only three meals per week instead of five.

This program gets funding from the Older American Act, which is subject to sequestration, and was cut by 8% this year.

They anticipate another 18% slash next year.

"We're not really seeing budget cuts, we're seeing actual people cuts," Sheriff said.

The VOA is doing as much as they can, with very little resources including volunteers, to combat the cuts.

They will be partly substituting some of the hot meals with frozen, more cost-effective ones, in order to try and get as many meals out the door as possible.

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