Meals on Wheels program struggles as demand grows and funds are cut

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 3:30 PM EST
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WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) - A Meals on Wheels program in the Upper Valley is looking to expand while at the same time trying to absorb funding cuts.

Volunteers with the Bugbee Senior Center in White River Junction deliver seven meals a week to homebound seniors who qualify for the meals program. They serve about 90 people a month.

The center’s nutrition funding was recently cut by 25% but officials say they are seeing a growing need.

“We have so many clients coming on that it is possible that we might even need to add another route to make sure that we can get the meals out on time. Which means we need a whole new set of drivers to run that route, so always looking for volunteers,” said Mark Bradley of the Bugbee Senior Center.

Congressman Peter Welch helped deliver meals Tuesday morning. He said the funding cuts are likely due to less COVID money in the pipeline. But he said the programs need to be paid for or people will literally go hungry.