Jacksonville Meals on Wheels facing cuts

Thousands of dollars planned to be cut from program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - City Budget cuts are a reality in Jacksonville, and one of the cuts is hitting a program that helps a lot of Jacksonville's elderly get a meal they otherwise wouldn't. 

As of October 1, the Meals on Wheels Program in Jacksonville is going to see major cuts. 

In 2012 the City of Jacksonville granted the Meals on Wheels Program $200,000. This year, the budget is being slashed to just $20,000. 

The cuts mean senior citizens like Robert Vaughters may not have their guaranteed hot meal every day. 

"It's a big help, takes a load off of me and my wife," said Vaughters. "We both have a hard time standing very long. She can't hardly breathe. All you have to do is open the door and there (the food) it is," said Vaughters.

Vaughters is just one of hundreds of people who could feel the impact of budget cuts through the Meals on Wheels program.

"This is not something we wanted to see happen to our seniors," said Tourea Robinson. "This program has been around for years and it's unfortunate to see these seniors will see cuts to this vital service."

Robinson works for Aging True who runs the Meals on Wheels program. The program delivers the only hot meal each day that many of these seniors get.

"We know that their nutritional value is being met. We can't guarantee that with the cut," said Robinson.

Vaughters told Channel 4 that he'll get by no matter what happens, but it's hard to say if everyone will be so fortunate.

"Guess I'll have to go back to being a little bit harder," said Vaughters. "Being in a wheelchair, it's kind of rough to get around."

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