Pitt County’s Meals on Wheels faces funding cuts

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Pitt County Council on Aging says their Meals on Wheels program took a drastic hit to funding, and seniors in eastern North Carolina are at risk of going hungry.

Rich Zeck, with the Pitt County Council on Aging, said the United Way will decrease its contribution to the organization by 40 percent.

“We’re looking at the potential of contacting 15 to 18 vulnerable seniors who are homebound and telling them they won’t be able to get a meal effective July 1,” said Zeck.

The money funds the Meals on Wheels program in the county, which feeds more than 300 people daily.

Thelma Chisolm, 83, is one of those seniors.

“It means a lot to me because I get it every day except Saturday and Sunday, said Chisolm. “I only get $58 in food stamps. And the Meals on Wheels helps me a lot ”

Thelma said when she heard a portion of the funding was cut, she became worried. Then she decided she would take action.

“I plan on donating on the third of the month myself,” said Chisolm. “I’ve already got my envelope there on the table.”

She wants the community to know how impactful the program is and how much the people who receive the food truly need the help.

“Meals on Wheels helps out a lot of people,” said Chisolm. “Some of these people can’t even hardly move.”

Zeck said the Council on Aging is working to make up the difference in funding so no seniors will have to return to the wait list, which currently has nearly 100 people on it.

“Feeding people, feeding older adults, is a very solvable problem, but the community needs to come together,” said Zeck.

Chisolm hopes people will give what they can.

“Donate,” Chisolm said. “If it ain’t but $5 a month, donate.”

Zeck was unsure why the funding to the program was cut.

To find out how you can help the Meals on Wheels program in Pitt County, head to their website.

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