Meals on Wheels program still going despite government shutdown - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Meals on Wheels program still going despite government shutdown

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Many South Georgia seniors are watching developments with the government shutdown, worried it will take money away from programs they depend on.

The SOWEGA Council on Aging was already dealing with budget cuts from sequestration, but so far things haven't gotten worse for them because of the shutdown.

Ruby Johnson visits the Southwest Georgia Council on Aging's Senior Center two to three times a week. She says it's a great place to enjoy a good meal and some company.

"If we didn't have this we would be bored. Our family members don't have to worry about us. Its a secure place, and its really great," says Ruby johnson, an area senior.

But as the government shutdown continues, the threat of more federally funded programs being cut is a concern for many people, including Johnson. She says many seniors don't have any other place to go.

"I mean we are seniors and its hard to find any other place, because they provide transportation also, for the ones who can't drive, and provide transportation so its really a blessing. the SOWEGA council on aging is really a blessing," says Johnson.

Kay Hind is the Executive Director of the Sowega Council on Aging, and says they are heavily supported by state and federal funding, but so far none of their programs, including meals on wheels, have been impacted.

"Well let me say this, we are operating normally now, of course I keep up as much as I can with whats going on, but at this point we don't have any plans to make any changes," says Kay Hind, Executive Director of Sowega Council on Aging.

Meals on wheels volunteers deliver about 125 meals daily in Dougherty county five days it week.  For many, it's the only hot meal they get each day.

"Maybe they have a physical handicap that they can't stand up there, they are too shaky or they can't see, you know, whatever it is," says Johnson.

Hind says if the shutdown continues and something does change they will give advance notice.

Meals on wheels is one of more than 20 programs the Sowega Council on Aging administers, serving seniors in 14 counties.

You have to be at least 60 years old to qualify for Meals on Wheels. A tennis tournament later this month will raise money for the program. Click here to learn more.

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