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Local program that helps feed members of ‘Greatest Generation’ fears federal funding cuts

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EVERETT, Wash. — Did you know roughly one in six senior citizens in our country struggles with hunger? That’s according to Meals on Wheels America.

One local Meals on Wheels program says they’re worried their funding could take a “big hit” if President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts are approved by Congress.

Senior Services of Snohomish County says just last year, they provided 151,000 meals to senior citizens who are often homebound or isolated, and they're concerned their federal funding could be on the chopping block.

While delivering food is the goal, the connection is the result. Sometimes, a Meals on Wheels driver is the only person a client will see all week long.

"They form a real trust, a real bond with the drivers so there's a lot of synergy there, and we have many other services within our county that we can refer people to," said Martha Peppones, of Senior Services of Snohomish County.

"If we weren't there every week, there could be some real negative consequences," she said. "We had a client yesterday who told a volunteer driver he thought he was having a stroke, so we called 911, got the medics out there and he went to the hospital. Had our driver not been there at that time, it could have had very different results."

The organization said it gets almost half its funding from federal grant programs.

"These are people of the 'Greatest Generation.' They have fought in world wars, they have raised families, they've created community and it's our turn to give back. I mean, if we ignore that population, what does that say about us as a community and as a society?"