OUR VIEW: Consider donating to the program

Nearly 1,000 area seniors depend on the meals delivered to their front door by the Voluntary Action Center.

The deliveries are not a luxury; they’re a necessity.

As Congress has failed to approve a budget for the current fiscal year, VAC is facing fiscal shortages in its Meals on Wheels and congregate meals programs.

Voluntary Action Center programs feed nearly 900 seniors around La Salle, Bureau and Putnam counties. Last year VAC produced and delivered 121,000 meals.

To maintain the program, VAC is promoting the Let No Senior Go Hungry campaign.

Tugs at the heart strings a little, doesn’t it?

As it should.

“We strongly believe that no senior should have to worry about where their next meal comes from,” Rogers said in a press statement. “Unfortunately, Congress’ inability to agree on a budget has real and harmful impacts for the people we serve.”

The goal is to raise $40,000 by Sunday, April 1, according to Ellen Rogers, DeKalb County VAC executive director.

Rogers noted the federal government has been operating on temporary spending measures since October. These measures do not authorize funding for many programs, including reimbursements for local senior nutrition agencies such as VAC.

It’s a shame the delay in passing the budget seems to affect the most vulnerable. And the Meals on Wheels program doesn’t have the luxury of waiting and holding out hope for a budget agreement.

“The need for healthy meals to homebound seniors continues to rise every year. For every dollar we do not receive, it’s one more person for one more day that hasn’t been served a meal,” Rogers said.

Rogers said only sustained support by the public, foundations and corporate partners can help offset the federal funding shortfall and help keep local seniors fed during winter, when clients are especially homebound.

And for many, if Meals on Wheels can’t deliver, it’s very likely they just won’t eat or won’t prepare a meal with proportionate nutritional value.

We owe it to our seniors to look out for them.

Please consider making a donation to this nearly 45-year-old program.

Donations can be made at vacdk.com/donate or givegab.com/campaigns/let-no-senior-go-hungry. For more information on the Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb County and programs it operates, visit vacdk.com.

Original article taken from The Times editorial @ http://www.mywebtimes.com/news/editorial/our-view-meal-deliveries-to-elderly-homebound-in-jeopardy/article_0a9d1fe6-570e-59f5-a52e-4752f5b00dee.html