Should “Meals On Wheels” Be Spared?


The elimination of government spending on welfare programs got real this week with the proposed budget from the new administration.  While it’s difficult to argue for continued deficit spending when you already owe nearly $20 trillion, it’s a lot easier to pick favorites and demand they be shielded from fiscal reality.

While forces are already rallying to save Big Bird, where the proponents of government social welfare spending seem to be drawing their line in the sand is “Meals on Wheels”  Here” and Here .

But just how dependent is this program on government money and when (if ever) will it stand on its own as a strictly private – charitable effort?


If the charitable people of this nation aren’t willing to support such a noble and worthwhile program, why should the federal government keep it afloat with taxpayer money?

41 Comments on Should “Meals On Wheels” Be Spared?

  1. This is a toughie. This program usually benefits seniors, who spent a lifetime working, and paying into the system. Compare this to a welfare Queen, who thinks a 1040 is a quasi case of beer.

  2. At this risk of complicating an already complicated system why not increase the value of the base tax deduction for charitable donations to make it more attractive to donors. Then since some charities are in more keeping with helping people assign each approved charity a category. Something like Meals on Wheels would get a category 1 giving it the highest deduction while a donation to National Public Radio would get a 3 meaning the lowest deduction. All approved charities (or things like NPR) would be able to issue tax deductible receipts, the taxpayer could choose what’s more important to them and ones that actually help people would get an edge.

    I wonder if there are any studies of government pay role and benefits that could be held up against the efficiencies of turning a program like this over to privately run non-profits? I would expect the savings would more than off set a tax deduction as you are proposing here. -Dr. Tar

  3. Speaking as one who stayed 200 miles away from home to care for my aging parents and then moved 425 miles for my wife and I to care for her mom and Dad…………..
    In many cases, government and charities doing what family member wouldn’t.

  4. Hard to consider Meals on Wheels low hanging fruit. The US government has entire departments we do not need, cannot afford, and give tax payers a ZERO return on investment. Chop all of them. If we still need to tighten our belts, go to programs where people CHOOSE to accept government money rather than earn their own money. MOW recipients do not choose to be on the accepting end. Many of them gave to others their entire lives.

  5. I had to laugh out loud as I watched the Mulvaney presser yesterday. So few questions? Why? Because the idiot media can barely grasp budget fundamentals. In fact Mulvaney’s remedial budget explanations would have been downright insulting to a smarter audience, but they were nodding their heads as though being asked to understand nuclear plasmatology! Then, when the questions finally started coming, they were all tinged with a more familiar gotcha — “the cheeeellldrens” and “the elderly”. LOL!

    Mulvaney had to explain (twice!) that programs like Meals on Wheels are not funded by the feds, directly, but through block granted money to the states — who then decide how they want to allocate those funds. Perfect! People will finally have to get involved in their local gov’t if they want to solve local problems. Love it!!

  6. Sorry. There is NO such thing as “Gov’t” Money as opposed to “Our” Money.
    If we’re not willing to support it with our personal pocketbook then we aren’t willing to support it with our public pocketbook – for the simple fact that for those of us who work (or worked) there is NO difference. We seem to believe that if we allow the “Gov’t” to force money from us to support “their” favorite charities, we can claim absolution. The “Gov’t” should constrain itself (strictly) within the confines of our Constitution. ANY excess outside those constraints is corruption – either through treacly, pathetically “compassionate” vote-buying or having the money return through an indirect route into the pockets of the politicians.

    Our Founders set it up this way to prevent the all-to-humans from falling into the traps of avarice and greed. Wilsonian Socialism opened that Pandora’s Box with the passages of the 16th and 17th Amendments. Close the box or America is forever lost – regardless who squats in the White Hut.

    izlamo delenda est …

  7. Yes cancel it. Make the private sector step up and pay for it. Also, children are supposed to take care of their parents and not the government. If you don’t do what it takes to care for your parents you should be exiled to Antarctica.

  8. Attorney in Orlando Florida she is a democrat her name is aramis ayala she defeated Casey Anthony case /governor Rick Scott used his executive power to remove her well well her husband David is a convicted drug conspirator and check counterfeiter

  9. The Left has worked for decades to produce a population that is conditioned/socialized/”educated” to think and operate entirely like 13 year old girls.
    The WH Press Corps is an example.
    Those frowning furrowed Millenial and Gen Y brows look like a roomful of teenage girls pouring through their parents’ explanation of why they can’t afford a Lamborghini and a pony and a year in Paris for junior high school graduation presents.

  10. @gonedaddygone It seems to vary by state, look at the statement from Meals on Wheels at the end of the Reason article in the last link. They say 3% but also 35%. It’s confusing.

  11. What about 20 trillion dollars don’t people understand? WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY!!!!! We need to cut spending every where. Why is it that liberals feel the government should support everything. Meals on wheels will survive by charity.

  12. As some above have said, everything needs to be taken off the government dole and put back in private hands. People will support charities that work hard to deliver in an efficient manner. I support the charities I like, you support the charities you like, and the ones that nobody likes go away.

    And as my favorite legislator Davy Crockett says (long but important if you haven’t read it before):

  13. Make a list, negotiate where you draw the line, but the primary goal is to reduce debt which is killing growth. I agree with Tony R, take the money from the abortion clinic and put it in Meals for Wheels.

  14. Should not be frigin’ fed. This s/b the responsibility of state or county gov’t.

    Sounds just like the old, “oh but my congressman is a good guy so I’m gonna re-elect him” argument to me.

  15. I checked into Meals On Wheels awhile back for my Dad. They said it would be something like $8.00 per hot meal, and the cold meal would be $6.ish. About $14.00 per day, one hot meal, and one sandwich with a fruit and veg. And you got whatever they had prepared that day, no being picky. Now, the people who staff the kitchens, and the drivers who deliver the meals are all volunteers, and the space is leased at a special low rate due to the nature of the service. I was told the fees for the meals went to the cost of the food and overhead.
    Pop said he could eat cheaper and better without, so I didn’t sign him up. Besides, he would rather die than eat a vegetable that wasn’t a potato.

  16. The end of the article says that the 3% the Feds give to MOW goes to the National Research Center on Nutrition and Aging. Sounds like the money is going to government jobs and not meals.

  17. Everybody screams bloody murder when it is their ox being gored. But we have got to get government spending under control so what are we to do?
    My local Senior Citizens serves Lunch M_F and volunteers deliver to the homebound. They quit Meals on Wheels years ago because of menu requirements much like school lunches that nobody liked. Now they have a monthly fundraiser with a Sunday Dinner. Those who can afford to pay for their weekday meals do so. Government does not have to be involved in projects what should be local.

  18. Meals on Wheels is a state operation, not federal. Some states – not all – use money from a federal block grant to fund Meals on Wheels.

    If people living in your state want to keep it, vote for higher state taxes to fund it or cut some program like feeding illegal aliens.

  19. I know for a fact that there are still a lot of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam Veterans who would otherwise go hungry. In most cases they only get 3 meals a week and they stretch it out for the entire week.

    Big Bird and Sesame Street can go fuck themselves, we should take care of our legal senior citizens first.

  20. From their website: “Meals on Wheels America, the largest and oldest national organization representing senior nutrition programs across the country, receives only 3% of its funding from the government, specifically to run the National Research Center on Nutrition and Aging. ” Much ado about nothing

  21. De-couple from the Feds
    Keep it going, it needs to be done.
    Going to see about volunteering around here.
    As a young dumb-ass musician in Hollywood I was often hungry. It sucked. In fact it was the worst and I was young.
    Back in the Old Days, the average American was a member of three charitable organizations. I think we should return to that mindset. Perhaps if they had cool uniforms like in the old days, we could.

  22. This is a tough one for me. I worked for a county government for many years and a portion of my managerial responsibilities involved health and human services, out of which the senior nutrition program was run. In the same breath I would bemoan the fact that we never received enough grant money to even come close to fully funding the program and wonder why it was government’s responsibility to feed people. I will say that I saw repeated instances of where Meals on Wheels provided the only meal an elderly person would eat that day. Never did resolve it in my mind.

  23. OMG – National Research Center on Nutrition and Aging – if you don’t eat, you die. If you do eat, someday you’ll die anyways.
    3%? Another useless study after another.

  24. I donate to our local Food Pantry and write on the check “in-county ONLY” which they claim to respect.

    If I’m not willing to write a check, the money should not be coerced from me, without my knowledge and/or consent. PERIOD.

    Same goes for welfare, illegal-alien-invading-rat-peoples’ legal fees and financial support, ACORN, PP, ACLU, and all the rest of that socialist bullshit funded covertly through the agencies.

    izlamo delenda est …

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