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Meals on Wheels could feel impact of federal cuts
The hits just keep on coming here in Central Nebraska when we talk about programs impacted by federal spending cuts.
While a number of those cuts will affect thousands of people, there's one program in particular that affects a small group, but it still could have huge implications.
News 5's Josh Egbert has more on the potential impact sequestration could have on Meals on Wheels.
The program is more than just delivering meals to seniors each and every day. It's also a chance to check up on them, make sure they're okay. If the program were to be cut, so would those services.
"The goal of the program is to help people remain independent," said Senior Action Executive Director Julie Nash.
Dozens of meals are prepared and packed every day.
"Meals on wheels delivers hot meals to those who are homebound or are unable to prepare a meal for themselves due to age, disability, or temporary illness," Nash said.
Senior Action runs Meals On Wheels in Hastings and provides a hot meal to 80 seniors, but the possible sequestration could bring that to a halt.
"50-percent of the clients that we serve are subsidized, and if there are cuts to that funding it could jeopardize the funding for the meals that are going into the home," said Nash.
One of those clients, Yvonne Crowe.
"You get a hot meal with this lunch, where otherwise you're probably eating cold cut sandwiches," said Crowe.
But for Yvonne and many others, it's more than just lunch. In fact, it may be the only contact they have all day.
"Makes you feel important. It makes your day really great, really does," said Crowe.
But that contact is at risk.
The state would lose approximately $121,000 in funds for services like Meals on Wheels.
"If we get our funding cut it may increase the cost and the goal is to keep the costs to the clients as cheap as possible," said Nash.
While the seniors only pay for their meals and nothing else, the cuts go far beyond just chicken and rice.
"They're also delivering kind of an outside contact to the world. They check on the clients, they make sure they're okay, and if for some reason they go - they get to know those clients pretty well - and if they go and they're not themselves they give us a call," said Nash.
"If this were to go away, you're talking a lot of people that would not have a nice hot meal," said Crowe.
Like most of cuts we've been telling you about, it's still unknown just exactly how it will be affected, but of course for these seniors it does have a big impact.
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