Meals on Wheels Program Will Not Be Eliminated by Trump Budget Plan

Media says admin's budget proposal will eliminate the program

Meals on wheels volunteer driver / Getty Images
March 20, 2017

Various media outlets have published articles claiming that the Trump administration's federal budget will eliminate funding for the Meals on Wheels program, whose volunteer drivers deliver hot meals to senior Americans across the country. But the federal budget is cutting funds to a federal grant program that provides just three percent of the Meals on Wheels revenue budget, and the program will still receive significant federal funding.

Articles like the Hill's "Trump proposed budget eliminates funds for Meals on Wheels," or the Huffington Post's,  "#LetThemDie: ‘Heartless’ Donald Trump Blasted For Slashing Meals On Wheels Funds," have been shared thousands of times on social media, causing readers to believe the Meals on Wheels program will be eradicated. The National Review reports that this claim is false.

The Trump administration is targeting the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for cuts. The CDBG is a federal grant program that uses state money to fund various community and social programs at their discretion. Headlines give the impression that Meals on Wheels receives a significant portion of funding from the CDBG, but CDBG makes up about three percent of the Meals on Wheels entire revenue budget.

Meals on Wheels stated that the program opposes any cut to its funding.

The federal government does provide significant funding for Meals on Wheels, but it doesn't come from the CDBG. The Older Americans Act, which was enacted in 1965, has been a primary funder for the program. Meals on Wheels receives 35 percent of their funds because of the Older Americans Act according to a statement that Meals on Wheels released.

The Trump administration has not announced cuts to the 60's era law, but the program worries that cuts could soon be coming.

Since Trump's budget was announced, Meals on Wheels have seen an increase in donations.