In response to confusion around federal funding received by Meals on Wheels:
Meals on Wheels services are provided directly to seniors by a nationwide network of 5,000 local community-run programs that, in the aggregate, receive 35% of their funding from the federal government.
Some media outlets have incorrectly reported this number to be 3%, confusing it with the federal funding received by Meals on Wheels America, the national membership organization that does not provide direct services (e.g., meals). This miscommunication dramatically understates the significant impact of any federal budget cuts that may affect Meals on Wheels.
What we know about the budget so far:
The 35% federal funding that goes directly to local Meals on Wheels programs comes from the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program that falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The impact on these funds has not yet been announced but, given the proposed 17.9% cut prescribed for HHS, could be at risk.
Also announced is the proposed elimination of two block grant programs (Community Service Block Grant and Community Development Block Grant) that are available for states to direct, at their discretion, to a large number of community programs which for some states includes augmented funding for Meals on Wheels. The fate of a third block grant program that also provides discretionary money for states to use for nutrition services (Social Services Block Grant) falls under HHS, but details have not yet been announced.