Meals on Wheels’ donations, volunteer sign-ups jump after Trump eyes cuts
(CNN) — Meals on Wheels received 50 times the typical amount of daily donations on Thursday after the White House proposed cuts to some of the program’s sources of funding, a spokesperson for the group said.
Volunteer sign-ups also jumped, increasing by 500%, according to Jenny Bertolette, a spokeswoman for Meals on Wheels America.
Bertolette said the support to the national Meals on Wheels office has been “amazing” and “very overwhelming.”
She said local programs raise funds individually, but she theorized that “there was likely a groundswell of local support, as well.”
The outpouring of support comes shortly after the White House’s budget blueprint suggested eliminating the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program and cutting funding for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Those programs constitute sizable funding for Meals on Wheels, a non-profit with more than 5,000 local branches that provides hot meals and support for about 2.4 million senior citizens.
Meals on Wheels is responding quickly, by actively seeking donations and volunteers. Visitors to their website now see a pop-up ad featuring an elderly man in a U.S. Army Veteran hat.
“Seniors in your communities need Meals on Wheels. And we need you. Federal funding is at risk. Help us defend these vital services today,” the ad reads. “Give now.”