Federal funding for Meals on Wheels is in jeopardy because, in the words of budget director Mick Mulvaney, it is “not showing results.” But that’s just an alternative fact—we have the results right here.
In 2013, researchers at Urbana-Champaign reviewed studies on home-delivered meal programs for seniors. They found that not only do seniors eat better when they get meals and check-ins from volunteers, but these programs actually save the government money. They are “aligned with the federal cost-containment policy to rebalance long-term care away from nursing homes to home- and community-based services by helping older adults maintain independence and remain in their homes and communities as their health and functioning decline.”
The president doesn’t make the budget all by himself, though. Congress would still have to vote in (or against) the changes he recommends. That means Meals on Wheels isn’t going away yet, if it does at all. In the meantime, if you’re in favor of seniors living independently and not going hungry, consider volunteering on your lunch breaks to check in on folks in your community with a meal and a hello.