Meals on Wheels braves storm to feed needy, Trump proposes budget cuts to program
SCRANTON (WOLF) -- With snow blocking in doorways and trapping cars, getting anywhere has made it really difficult - especially for elderly and disabled citizens. Meals on Wheels has been braving the snow aftermath to make sure many of these folks food needs are taken care of.
"Yesterday we were able to double meals and able to get out about 790 meals, about three-quarters of two days worth. Today we were able to get double meals to about 150 extra meals," says Meals on Wheels NEPA Executive Director Kristen Kosin.
Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary, Scranton native and former Meals on Wheels caseworker Teresa Osborne spent the day helping out, and putting her SUV to use - something that the organization is in need of.
"Because Northeast Pennsylvania was the recipient of 21 inches of snow, while I expected to either be working in the kitchen or being a delivery person, because I had a 4-wheel drive, I was a delivery driver today," says Osborne.
They say you can only do the best you can preparing for snow of this magnitude, but the volunteers have been wonderful, and meal recipients have been so grateful.
"My philosophy is, if you can get here, we're gonna try to get the meals out, and I know sometimes I drive my staff crazy but I just can't imagine not even just attempting. If we can't do it, we can't do it. But I'm going to try and we're going to try to get them out," says Kosin.
With the Trump administration proposing budget cuts to their funding, it's clear that such cuts could have an impact for seniors in the community.
"Meals on Wheels in particular is a lifeline for seniors, not just here in Pennsylvania, but across the country. It keeps folks living in their homes, aging in place with the dignity and respect they deserve. With a nutritious meal, a friendly voice, a visit at the front door, and in many cases a wellness check," says Osborne.
Osborne also says it's critical that we pay attention to the news out of Washington and continue to advocate for the security of these programs and the safety net it provides for older Americans.