Officials say senior meals programs mostly safe from cuts
Roger Hannigan Gilson and Daniel Zuckerman are reporting for Columbia-Greene Media proposed federal budget cuts to programs funding Meals on Wheels are not expected to impact the program in Columbia and Greene counties, according to state and local officials. The state home-delivered meals program are partially funded by the Community Development Block Grant Program, which is slated to be eliminated. However, Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging, said those funds are not directed to home-delivered meals in New York. A second program, the federal Older Americans Act, provides support for senior meals, but proposed cuts to the federal budget will not have much of an impact locally, Olsen said. Columbia County Office for the Aging Administrator Kevin McDonald said only 20 percent of his department’s funding comes from the federal government. The majority of the funding comes from the state county and private donors. While Greene County authorities expressed some anxiety over potential budget cuts, but county Department of the Aging Business Manager Ken Brooks said federal block grants do not fund home delivered meals. The program receives state funding and is subsidized by the county and then matched, and some of the seniors contribute, as well, Brooks said. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.