ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A popular program that provides meals to seniors could take a hit under President Trump's proposed 2018 budget, and now its creating a renewed push for community support to keep the Meals on Wheels program going in southwest Georgia.
The SOWEGA Council on Aging hosts several fundraisers a year to fund the Meals on Wheels program, but directors said a small portion of the program is federally funded with most of the support coming from others in the community.
Neal and Myra Moseley are veteran volunteers with the program, helping to deliver more than 186,000 meals a year to homebound seniors in southwest Georgia.
"For a lot of them it's the one hot meal they get," Myra Moseley said.
It's a critical lifeline to those who need it most.
"If it wasn't for it, I don't know what I'd do," one of the seniors said during a delivery.
With every knock, the Moseleys provide not only a meal but also a safety check.
"If they're not there, we have to figure out what's wrong with them, where are they?" Myra Moseley said.
The president's 2018 budget proposed eliminating funding to the community development block grant program which partially funds Meals on Wheels programs nationwide, causing many to fear for the future of Meals on Wheels.
"We do receive state and federal funds for the service, but its very important for us to fundraise to fill the gap," said SOWEGA Council on Aging Development Director Izzie Sadler.
She said the budget cut wouldn't directly affect their program, but it does highlight the importance of community support.The program already deals with a growing waiting list as needs outpace supply.
"Georgia is the 11th growing fastest state for seniors in the country," she said, "so we have to be thinking about how we can help these people that may not be helped with the funds that we currently receive."
The Moseleys are happy to do what they can to help, hoping others will also get on board.
"One more way to reach out," Neal Moseley said.
"Right, just another form of service," Myra Moseley added.
The SOWEGA Council on Aging is preparing for their 4th annual "Serving Up Meals" tennis tournament.
Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Meals on Wheels program.
The tournament kicks off April 7. The entry fee is $40. It is open to all play levels.
For more information, visit the SOWEGA COA website.