What would Debra McKellar do if her mother was ever cut off from Meals on Wheels? The Vinton resident, 59, isn’t quite sure as to the answer.
McKellar works full time. “My father is dead. I have no brothers and sisters. My mother has macular degeneration. She’s insulin dependent and legally blind,” she said.
“Mom hasn’t cooked on an electric stove in three years because she can’t see. I’m afraid she’s going to burn her house down.”
That’s one reason her mom, Charlotte Haymaker of northeast Roanoke, receives Meals on Wheels five days each week.
But there’s a nasty little reverse-lottery game occuring right now.
About 650 home-bound seniors in the Roanoke Valley and Botetourt, Craig and Allegheny counties are now getting simple and nutritious lunches delivered to their homes each weekday through the Local Office on Aging.
Because of the federal government’s budget sequester, at least $62,000 in local senior-services cuts are in the offing, and 50 Meals on Wheels recipients may have to be dropped from the rolls.
Elizabeth Davis, 98, is another of those 650. Twice widowed, she lives in an apartment in Raleigh Court. She knows what would happen if she didn’t have Meals on Wheels. She’d begin losing weight.
That’s what was happening several years ago, when Davis wasn’t eating right. “My doctor said, ‘I want you to go on Meals on Wheels,’ ” she told me. Almost as soon as she started, her weight stabilized.
Why is this happening now?
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