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Meals on Wheels Program May Face Cuts in Iowa
CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)-- At least once a day, Mark Rundall gets a warm visit along with a warm meal.
He suffers from multiple sclerosis and gets around in a wheelchair.
His condition makes it hard for him to cook his own meals or go out for food.
"Stuff I can put in an oven or microwave it, that's all I can do," Rundall said.
He's one of more than 2,000 people in Linn County who uses meals on wheels.
But that number may soon change if proposed budget cuts go into effect in 2014.
"It is very scary," said Dianna Young, director of Horizons Meals on Wheels.
Last year, federal budget cuts caused the program to lose 27,000 meals out of the 200,000 they deliver a year. In 2014, the cuts are expected to be even bigger.
"You don't want to think about somebody sitting without food," Young said.
To fill in the gap, the program has been holding fund raisers, applying for grants, and relying on volunteers -- but with a growing elderly population, officials fear it may not be enough.
"We've done everything we can up to this point to avoid cutting meals and that's the next place to go, and that's scary," Rundall said.
"I've been looking forward to turning 60 to get meals on wheels, Rundall said. I don't know what's going to happen if we lose that."