hits just keep on coming when we talk about programs impacted by
federal spending cuts. The cuts are steep and they're scheduled to
take place on Friday, if Congress can't reach a compromise. What
will it mean for the local program Meals on Wheels? The program
provides more than nutrition, it is food for the soul.
The line is already long, 150 people deep, waiting to take part in Meals on Wheels here in Monroe County. If federal spending cuts go through as planned on Friday, that line will get even longer.
Volunteers prepare thousands of meals for delivery here in the kitchen of the American Red Cross.
"Often the people that we serve don't have a strong social support network, so having someone look in on them everyday is a huge value," said Phil Shippers, Director, Meals on Wheels.
Volunteer drivers like Arnie Lewis then pick up the meals in their own cars, using their own gas, and hit the road.
"Oh, seeing the people and the light on their face when you actually go and deliver the food, said Arnie Lewis, Volunteer.
A Xerox retiree, Arnie's been making the rounds for nearly fifteen years, delivering hot meals to the doorsteps of people in need.
Alice Ruise depends on this meal. She counts on Arnie even more.
"It isn't so much just the food, that they're appreciative of, it's the companionship, somebody saying hi, somebody saying ya know, have a great day," said Lewis.
If cuts go through, four thousand less meals will be delivered in Monroe County. For Arnie, the loss is much greater than just the nutritional value his deliveries provide.
"A lot of people actually only see one person a day and it's Meals on Wheels," said Lewis.