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Non-profits worry budget cuts will further hurt programs for the needy

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The automatic budget cuts known as sequestration have already forced Meals On Wheels to find alternative ways to pay for 12,000 meals a year. The automatic budget cuts known as sequestration have already forced Meals On Wheels to find alternative ways to pay for 12,000 meals a year.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Federal budget cuts are already eating away at the Meals On Wheels program in the Triangle area. But with more cuts looming, that agency and others are concerned that people will have to go hungry.

The automatic budget cuts known as sequestration have already forced Meals On Wheels to find alternative ways to pay for 12,000 meals a year in Wake County.

"There are already waiting lists, and this just either prevents us from serving those people on the waiting list or adds to the waiting list," said Alan Winstead with Meal On Wheels.

And as budget cuts make it more difficult to feed those in need, organizations are finding more folks are now asking for aid.

"The increase of people coming has increased by over 50 percent, and there is a realization it may come to the point where we have to limit the food people are taking," said Amy Beros with Interfaith Food Shuttle.

After it lost funding for 12,000 meals in the last round of cuts, Meals On Wheels asked the community to step -up with cash donations. But non-profits worry that community funding won't make up for the next round of sequestration budget cuts.

With the start of the new fiscal year in October, deeper cuts to Meals On Wheels and other similar programs are coming unless Congress takes preemptive steps.

"It's essential to replace sequestration with a balanced approach that includes new revenues and smart spending cuts in programs less important than these," said N.C. Budget and Task Center policy analyst Allan Freyer.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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