MARQUETTE - Budget cuts in the state of Michigan are threatening the Meals on Wheels program.
"I think it's important that people know that we are being hit hard by the budget cuts," said Lori Stephens-Brown, Community Nutrition Services director for AMCAB. "After losing over $34,000 for senior meals this year, we are on the line for another 9 percent cut from Michigan funds."
So far, the program has been able to get by... barely.
"We've been able to serve the seniors who are eligible up to this point, but will need to start putting them on a waiting list with further cuts," Stephens-Brown said. "Now we aren't serving every senior optimally - which would be five hot meals a week - but we are able to get a combination of hot and frozen meals to them at this point.
"If we, the citizens of Marquette and Alger counties, want to have Meals on Wheels to be able to continue, we need everyone to call their legislators and let them know that food for seniors is important to them."
Stephens-Brown said currently funding for Home Delivered Meals (also referred to as Meals on Wheels) is 16 percent millage funds; 26 percent federal funds; 21percent state funds;4 percent United Way; 3 percent local donations; 4 percent in-kind; and 25 percent participant donations.
"We are a United Way agency and we are so thankful for their generosity in supporting our meal drivers," Stephens-Brown said.
For more information, visit AMCAB's website, www.amcab.org.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.