White House officials have come under fire after they unveiled the administration’s new proposed budget, which includes snatching away all federal funding for the Meals on Wheels programs. This nutrition initiative provides food to the elderly, poor, veterans, disabled and others who often can’t leave their homes, The Huffington Post noted.
Under these new changes the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s would slash the entire $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program that helps fund programs for low-income Americans including Meals on Wheels. Now granted the program won’t be erased due to these cuts—only 3.3 percent of its funding comes from government sources, Forbes points out. But these cuts could definitely translate into fewer people having access to meals they depend on.
Naturally, folks were outraged and took to Twitter to sound off on how dangerous these cuts will be for our country’s most vulnerable.
To add insult to injury, when White House budget director Mick Mulvaney was pressed about the cuts during a recent press briefing, he said that the program doesn’t really work and that it’s not fair for tax payers to pay for a failing initiative, Politico reported.
“Meals on Wheels sounds great,” Mulvaney said, stressing that “we’re not going to spend [money] on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises that we’ve made to people.”
He then stated that it makes better sense to spend the money elsewhere.
“You’re only focusing on half of the equation, right? You’re focusing on recipients of the money. We’re trying to focus on both the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place,” Mulvaney told reporters.
“And I think it’s fairly compassionate to go to them and say, ‘Look, we’re not going to ask you for your hard-earned money anymore … unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually going to be used in a proper function. And I think that is about as compassionate as you can get.”
But here’s the gag: Meals on Wheels actually does work.
According to Slate, the Washington Post‘s Christopher Ingraham tweeted a NIH peer review that found that these programs significantly improve diet quality, increase nutrient intakes, and reduce food insecurity and nutritional risk among participants. In addition, they increase socialization opportunities, improve dietary adherence and increase the quality life.
Guess that cash is going to building the wall that we all have to pay for instead.