Budget cuts could hurt Maine Meals on Wheels

6:29 PM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Area agencies on aging across the state are working with growing waiting lists and less state funding for next year.

The proposed budget cuts could eliminate $20,000 for the state's Meals on Wheels programs, and in Lewiston, coordinators estimate the SeniorsPlus agency will experience a $7,000 cut.

According to Connie Jones, Director of Community Services at SeniorsPlus, the cuts would make it difficult to add any clients from the waiting list, which has about 130 people.

"It will only make it grow, which is so sad," said Jones.

Meals on Wheels in Lewiston serves up to 300 people each day in the three surrounding counties.

With the state's aging population, the number of Meals on Wheels clients continues to increase, but federal funding has not increased with it.

Jones said the meals help the elderly stay in their homes and remain independent. The alternative would be nursing home care, which could end up costing more money than the proposed budget cuts would save.

"[The cuts] do not make sense to me. They don't make sense to a lot of people," said Jones.

NEWS CENTER

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