Fern Young

We received a letter from Central Oregon Council on Aging dated March 13 regarding the cuts that are being made to our Meals on Wheels and Congregate Meals. It states that these meals are being reduced from $3.50 to $3 per meal starting April 1. It also states that the Meals on Wheels drivers are being cut from 50 cents to 32 cents per mile.

First of all, it costs $3.16 for the food to prepare the meal. There is no way that this can be reduced because of increases in food costs. Then the pay for the help and permits plus other added costs have to be added on to the $3.16. We should at least receive $4 to $5 for the meals being prepared.

Most of the people only receive one meal per day, and you leaders who are being paid by the taxpayers are trying to take that away. We would like to see all of you who are running our government try and get by on one cheap meal per day.

As to the drivers for MOW, some of them use what little they get as a supplement for living expenses. A person cannot afford to even run their car for 32 cents per mile because gas is now close to $4 per gallon. We don’t think any of you realize what you are doing to our elderly people.

There is so much waste going on in our government, so why don’t you cut some of that instead of trying to starve out our older generation. We have all seen hard times and it sounds like you are going to make it a lot worse.

We are asking that you do not take away our funding. If our elderly do not receive food, most of them will end up in a nursing home, which will cost the taxpayer $3,000 to $7,000 per month, or they may end up dying.

When our drivers deliver food to the elderly, we find that the only company some of these people have are the people delivering the food. If there are any problems, health or otherwise, the drivers report back to the center and things are taken care of or referred to others for help.

We could not do without our volunteers. They play a very important part in our program. We hope and pray that they will carry on until our funding is reinstated.

We do not know how much our senior Social Security and Medicare will be cut, which may throw most all our seniors into poverty. This is a very important matter that should be addressed immediately. We are asking the leaders in our government to pay attention to what we are trying to get across before it is too late. Our seniors are very important citizens and worked very hard to make it possible for all of you to be where you are today.