Meals on Wheels in Jeopardy Due to Shutdown

10:09 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
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On Tuesday, Meals on Wheels clients from across Central Georgia received a letter from the Middle Georgia Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging. It said services might be ending on November 14 if the partial government shutdown continues.

Bernice Smith, 79, used to cook big Sunday dinners for her 9 kids, but because of arthritis, she's unable to cook like she once did. Two years ago, Smith's daughter signed her up for Meals on Wheels.

"The government is telling us that there are 30 days more of funding to provide Meals on Wheels," said Kenny Weaver, director of the Houston County Meals on Wheels.

Of the Houston meals, 96 of 144 are paid for by the federal government. Weaver said Houston could use some of its $55,000 in reserve funds to maintain the program.

"We could go another two or three months with the government shutdown," he said.

Because Weaver didn't want to alarm clients, he also sent an additional letter detailing the plan. It said, "Even if there is no agreement on the government shutdown by November 14th, Houston County Council on Aging is committed to continuing your meal delivery for as long as possible."

Smith, a Central Georgia native, had a message for lawmakers - "They should get their business right and leave us poor folks alone."

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