Wichita Meals On Wheels Group Concerned With Proposed Cuts To Federal Social Services

Mar 20, 2017

The organization that administers the local Meals on Wheels program says its funding source isn’t among the cuts considered in the Trump administration’s recently released budget. But Senior Services of Wichita might still feel the effects of millions of dollars of cuts to federal programs.

Trump is considering cutting the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant Program, which helps fund Meals on Wheels programs across the country.

Budget director Mick Mulvaney explained at a press conference last week that the grants program was "just not showing any results.

"We can't do that anymore. We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good," he said.

Read the full budget blueprint here.

However, Meals on Wheels in Wichita gets about $282,000 through the federal Older Americans Act—not one of the programs targeted in the budget announced last week.

“We certainly don't want to alarm seniors," says Sherri Flippo, social services director for Meals on Wheels. "Many times when they hear the stories they think, ‘Oh, they’re in trouble, so I’ll just try to make do and don’t try to apply for the program.’ And we don’t want that to happen, we don’t want anyone at risk.”

Still, Flippo says cuts to other social services—like the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program--would trickle down.

“It’s going to just make it harder all the way around for the seniors we serve," she says. "It's a big concern to us."

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