Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Seniors in S.C. Fear Losing Lifeline if Program is Cut

Columbia,South Carolina,USA By Gina Vasselli submitted by E.Malone

COLUMBIA — Meals on Wheels will lose its state funding if Gov. Mark Sanford’s budget is passed as it’s written.Meals on Wheels, which provides food to seniors who cannot provide it for themselves, got $2.9 million from the state last year.Senior citizen groups throughout the state are rallying to prevent the program from losing its state funding.

AARP Legislative Director Teresa Arnold said AARP is organizing to send letters to every member of the General Assembly urging them not to cut the money.“The majority of this money is simply going for food.

I mean, these are folks that would have gone hungry had they not had this funding,” she said.

The AARP has also set up a toll-free number to let people call their representatives to talk to them about the potential cuts to this program, Arnold said.About 5,000 seniors are served through Meals on Wheels.

Frank Adams, a spokesman for the Office on Aging, said many rely on this program completely.Adams said one elderly woman who broke both of her wrists at the same time answered a survey for Meals on Wheels and said the meal they provided is “often the only meal we receive. Please see that the ones that bring the meals are also our lifeline. They’re the only ones we sometimes see.”

Tom Lloyd, the former Speaker of the Silver Haired Legislature, a senior citizens’ advocacy group, said the governor is making a mistake by proposing cutting this money.“Food is a life consistency and if they take that away, there’s going to be a problem,” Lloyd said.


You may contact Governor Mark Sanford by sending him a letter to the following address:

Mailing Address:Governor Mark SanfordOffice of the Governor P.O. Box 12267 Columbia, SC 29211 Fax: 803-734-5167

You may also contact the Governor's Office at 803-734-2100. Scheduling requests should be made in writing to the above address or fax number.

You can send the Governor an e-mail by clicking this link.

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