JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- We are now eight days away from massive budget cuts that will kick in if Congress and President Barack Obama don't agree on a deal. In addition to impacting our military and our schools, it could also have a devastating effect on local senior citizens.
For seniors like William Meeks, when the food truck pulls up to his house, it is a part of the day he and his dog Toby not only look forward to, they depend on it.
Folks from Aging True arrived right on schedule Thursday with his hot lunch. He's a recipient of Meals on Wheels.
"It makes it a lot easier for me because I can't even get out of the house because I have no ramp or anything," said Meeks.
According to CEO Teresa Barton, it's a program that helps about a thousand seniors in our area every day. Some of those seniors could soon be told the meals will no longer be coming.
"I guess there's never a good time to reduce funds to programs like these that are such vital lifelines to the community," she said.
Meals on Wheels joins a long list of programs on the chopping block come March 1 when massive cuts in the federal budget are scheduled to kick in automatically. The cuts were designed to be so damaging, they'd force President Obama and Congress to find a better solution. But they haven't.
"We already have 600 plus people that we still cannot fund for Meals on Wheels in this community so this is going to be an extreme challenge this year," Barton told Action News.
Meals on Wheels will be forced to reduce its budget by eight to ten percent. That's terrifying news for Barton and people like Meeks who will be left with few other options.
"I could get by but I'd get awfully tired of peanut butter all the time," he said.