ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Every year, the city of Albuquerque delivers meals to more than 900 needy seniors. Those people who work for the program are worried that federal budget cuts could put those seniors out.
Meals on Wheels said the cuts will not affect them directly, but they’re concerned that if the city’s program is cut, they will also suffer.
“If other programs in the area need to reduce their services, or remove clients from their programs, they’re going to come looking for us in order to support them,” said Shauna Frost, Executive Director with Meals on Wheels Albuquerque.
President Donald Trump is proposing a cut in federal funding for the Department of Health and Human Services. Frost said those cuts could hit the city’s Home Delivered Meals program run by the Department of Senior Affairs.
The program provides about 150,000 home delivered meals every year. An employee with the program tells KRQE News 13 they are concerned about the possible cuts, and a city official said they will continue to monitor the situation to see if there are any financial cuts to the program.
“If the funding gets cut, then that partnership is really going to be strained because we’re not going to be able to send clients who can use their services,” said Frost.
Meals on Wheels currently serves 550 meals a day and they spend $1,690 to feed one person for a year. She said it’s already difficult to keep up with the demands, even with the city’s program currently helping them.
“With a wait list of almost 100 people already, we’re talking almost half a million dollars that we would probably have to raise in 2018 in order to feed everyone,” said Frost.
Over the weekend, Meals on Wheels saw a slight increase in donations because of the buzz around the proposed cuts. The organization is preparing for any possibility right now and are accepting donations to put towards the 2018 year, in case cuts do happen.