Reporting Tony Lopez
AUBURN (CBS13) — The federal government shutdown could take food out of senior citizens’ mouths in Placer County if it’s not resolved by the end of the month.
Nellie Souza, 86, has been waiting for what’s inside a red bag all day: Food from Meals on Wheels.
“The people are really nice,” she said. “They come and bring my meals.”
Thanks to the partial government shutdown, hundreds of needy people in Placer County could soon have the door to their Meals on Wheels service closed, when they need it the most.
The Seniors First Program serves meals to 160 people every day and has another 120 on a waiting list
“We close our doors, and we can’t provide meals,” said Jamee Horning with the Seniors First program. “That’s what it’s looking like at this point.”
With federal funding promised only through the end of the month, things are looking bleak. The program in Auburn does accept donations from the public.
“Some of these people are in desperate need, this is the only meal they get in a day,” said Horning. “They are panicked. A lot of them don’t know what they’re gonna do.”
Many of the Meals On Wheels recipients are blind, disabled, or elderly.
“These are people that are desperate, in desperate situations and they need our help,” said Horning.
In addition to stymieing the efforts of Meals On Wheels, a prolonged shutdown could also impact elder abuse prevention programs, family caregiver support groups, and senior disease prevention programs.