President Trump's budget could impact local programs

(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)

HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal suggests cutting billions of dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Over half of those savings will come by eliminating a community development block grant that helps fund some local programs in our area.

"We can't afford no cuts!," says Mary Farley.

Farley and her two friends come to the Harris County Senior Center daily to get meals served to them. This type of meal is one of the three services provided to the elderly that would receive budget cuts under the new proposal.

"It's good to have these meals because a lot of times you know, you at home you don't cook…older people you don't have it… we don't have it.", says the group.

According to Meals on Wheels, roughly one in six seniors in the country struggles with hunger. the organization serves almost six hundred meals a day in the counties in our area. These women tell us the one check they receive a month often leaves them hungry.

"You ain't got nothing left sometimes you have to budget between the medicine and your meals in which you eat, in order to survive," says Louis Billings.

We spoke with a manager for one of the serving locations in our area and she says this cut would be devastating not only for the up keep of the facility, but for the consumers as well.

"What we're thinking about are the clients that are truly affected you know they're the ones that can't get out and go to the grocery store, doesn't have any food there. I think then we revert back to the times when we heard about the little old lady getting out of bed to open a can of dog food to feed herself so we might as well get ready because that's what's happening.", says Harris County Senior Center Manager Paula Jackson Walker.

More than anything these three women say they would hate to lose the bond they've formed with one another.

"Yes…yes…it's just like another family really.", says the group of three.

Programs in our area will have a better idea how they will be affected when the full budget proposal is released in coming months.

Meals on Wheels made the following response today on Twitter on President Trump's budget plan cut-backs.

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