Meals on Wheels suffers amid sequestration

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by JORDAN LONGACRE & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 7:37 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 12:22 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The national sequester cuts hit programs across the board.

Defense, education and social service programs were cut, including Spokane County’s Meals on Wheels.

Staff at the non-profit worry about the program’s financial future. They say the sequestration could leave them with a 5 percent deficit, meaning a $45,000 cut.

Meals on Wheels helps Spokane’s senior population stay independent and allows them to eat healthy. It serves about 27,000 meals a month.

Half of the program’s funding comes from the federal government, and organizers now fear their ability to help seniors will suffer.

“I’m scared. How do we keep serving all the people that need it? I don’t know how we are going to do it. We’re making cuts wherever we can, but we’re a pretty lean agency as it is,” Executive Director Pam Almeida said.

To help offset the deficit, Meals on Wheels will rely on raising awareness. The program will hold its tenth annual March for Meals walk Friday to raise some funds. Participants will walk along the skywalk route and raise money through sponsorships.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Riverpark Square.

Organizers will also ask supporters to sign a tablecloth to show their support, which will be sent to Washington D.C.

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