President Donald Trump unveiled a new budget plan today, unleashing budget chief—and latest supervillain entrant to the White House Legion Of Doom—Mick Mulvaney to walk the country through the plan’s various flavors of “Fuck you.” Besides a widespread attack on the arts—cutting funding for the National Endowments For The Arts and Humanities, plus the Corporation For Public Broadcasting—Mulvaney also revealed that the government will be pulling federal funding grants that allow states to pay for Meals On Wheels, the popular program that recruits volunteers to deliver hot meals to ailing seniors and other homebound people.
Mulvaney—who similarly spoke out against after-school programs that feed kids and keep them entertained and safe when parental childcare isn’t available—dismissed Meals On Wheels as a symptom of the large block grants that the federal government gives to the states in order to fund such programs, which he said are “just not showing results.”
Shockingly, the internet reacted strongly to Mulvaney’s assertion that Meals On Wheels ”sounds great” but doesn’t actually help the underserved populations it feeds. Health advocates like Aaron E. Carroll were quick to fill their timelines with studies showing the program’s effects on senior health:
Meanwhile, The Washington Post quickly assembled its own series of studies refuting Mulvaney’s claims, including the finding that ”The average cost of a one-month nursing home stay is equivalent to providing home-delivered meals five days a week for approximately seven years.” (It also helps people figure out who killed Laura Palmer, although that’s pretty minor as far as the program’s impact goes.)
Now, it’s possible that Mulvaney was referring less to Meals On Wheels America—which organizes and distributes funds to 5,000 programs across America—specifically, than to the overall block grant funding strategy and its potential inefficiencies. But that won’t really matter to the people who are about to lose food and vital human contact because of the new budget, especially since Mulvaney and Trump aren’t proposing any replacement for the proven work Meals On Wheels does for communities that they’re about to take away.
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