Explainer: What you should know about the Meals on Wheels controversy

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Thousands of people are being served each day by Meals on Wheels in our area and that includes the biggest city, Rochester.

"The cancer doctor gave me the phone number and said that I wasn't eating right, because when you don't have much money, you eat peanut butter sandwiches".

Here in Dallas, only about 60 percent of the Meals on Wheels funding comes from donations. However, local programs said federal cuts won't impact them.

Various media outlets have published articles claiming that the Trump administration's federal budget will eliminate funding for the Meals on Wheels program, whose volunteer drivers deliver hot meals to senior Americans across the country.

Jutson says independence offered by Meals on Wheels can help people avoid moving to a nursing home.

Instead, he talked about Meals on Wheels as though he considered it an example of a questionable service funded by the Community Development Block Grant, a $3 billion flexible funding stream provided to states by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"We can't spend money on programs just because they sound good".

Similarly, Ellen Horwitz of Meals on Wheels of West Los Angeles said there's been an "abundance of people calling in the last two days saying, 'Can we help?'"

Meals on Wheels has seen a surge in volunteers since the budget proposal was released.

Still, with 30 years of Meals on Wheels experience under her belt, she's confident the budget won't pass as-is, so long as citizens, like those who attended the roundtable, speak up.

If the budget were to pass, Chagnon said it would likely be the end of the program, as community support and private donations wouldn't cover the difference.

White House officials question the effectiveness of programs such as Meals on Wheels.

Mike Mulvaney, director of Office of Management and Budget, defended the budget when asked if it was "hard-hearted" to those in need.

"I will take your stories back", she said.

"It's reassuring that the public has stepped up", Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America told CNN. "He is President Trump's adviser. his vision has been to pull apart the 'administrative state, ' which is the government", Shea-Porter said, referencing comments Bannon made last month. "It is one I would never vote to cut even one dollar".

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