The Federal Government Robbed 19 Million Meals From Senior Citizens

Across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to kick in today will eliminate 19 million meals for low-income seniors, according to the Meals on Wheels Association of America. In other words, the federal government’s incompetence will come at the cost of senior citizens nutritional wellbeing.


The immediate cuts to Meals on Wheels adds to a long list of programs helping the poor that will get squeezed by the sequester, including public rent assistance, emergency housing and farm loans.

The Obama administration says a more conservative 4 million meals under nutrition assistance programs will be cut under sequestration, but, as the Huffington Post’s Arthur Delaney explains, the president’s estimate doesn’t pass the sniff test:

The White House has not provided a detailed explanation of how it came up with its count of lost meals, but allowed there could be funding streams omitted from its estimate. The Meals On Wheels number is based not just on funding for home-delivered meals, but also funds for "congregant" meals served in group settings and funds for nutrition-service incentive programs.

While the president and congress sit back and watch across-the-board cuts go through, local media across the country have been reporting on how the cuts will hurt Meals on Wheels and other nutritional assistance programs in their respective communities.

In Columbia, South Carolina WLTX-TV spoke with a local Meals on Wheels representative, who laid out the dire effects of cuts on local seniors.

"If that meal is cut or we can't get people on the program, then they are probably not going to get any nutritional value. For many of them that's the only meal they eat all day,” said Annie Eveleigh, spokesperson for Columbia Meals on Wheels.

Meanwhile, Central Oregon’s KTVZ-TV reports that the cuts will not only harm seniors today, but could also have long-term financial consequences.

“Some of the seniors will get ill or need more care and that would in turn cost more to the taxpayer than what it currently costs,” said Pamela Norr, the Executive Director of the Central Oregon Council on Aging.

Makes you wonder: does the federal government even care about the people they screw over?

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.