Mar 19, 2013 6:53 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
Cuts in Federal spending and the Older Americans Act will mean major cuts for Meals on Wheels programs throughout the state.
Louisiana is losing about half a million dollars for all of its Meals On Wheels programs. The Cajun Area Agency on Aging serves just more than two thousand clients in Acadiana, and it says it will lose $53,000. The agency says it won't know exactly how many clients will be affected until the Federal cuts take effect July 1st. But early numbers indicate the cuts could cost the agency more than 10 thousand meals.
One client is already concerned. Ninety-two year old Lena Usie looks forward to receiving her meal during the week.
"I can't walk to the store and get me something to eat, and they bring it to my front door. Now you cannot ask any better."
For three years Usie has received meals from Meals On Wheels, and cuts to the program mean many people wouldn't receive the home-delivered meals.
"It's devastating because all the old people that we serve, they're so sweet, and they're so nice, and they gonna, you know, they gonna not be able to serve their food and stuff," Marsha Gaspard, Nutrition Coordinator of Cajun Area Agency On Aging, said.
Shannon Broussard is the director of the Cajun Area Agency On Aging. With the cuts, its program is looking to lose 66 meals a day.
"So what's going to happen is an individual who doesn't have assistance by a family member or another program may run the risk of losing this new meal, which might be the only meal they get," Shannon Broussard said.
While Lena's family comes by daily, Meals On Wheels is still a big help.
"I sure hope it doesn't, it doesn't stop coming. Cause i really enjoy it," Usie said.