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Contra Costa Meals on Wheels issues urgent funding appeal, may have to drop 200 seniors

Original post made on Apr 25, 2013

Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa launched an urgent appeal for more donations, saying that a funding shortage could force it to drop 200 people from its roster of 1,200 seniors receiving home-delivered meals. About 60 percent of the organization's budget comes from donations.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 11:26 AM

Comments (27)

Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

I am very supportive of the work done by Meals On Wheels of CC, and other similar orgs. Actually, my wife and I donate to the other local Meals on Wheels organization, Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services, located in Walnut Creek (Yes, these are two separate organizations, with similar names, which is a bit confusing).

But I am having trouble following the math in the above article. It said that $100,000 of federal funding is being lost, out of a total annual budget of $3,500,000. This is a bit less than a 3% reduction of total budget, even though it is a much higher percentage reduction in the federal funding received. What I'm having trouble understanding is why a 3% budget hit results in almost 20 percent fewer people being served. It seems like the percentage reduction in federal funding is being "applied" to the whole program.

This doesn't change the main thrust of the article, that Meals On Wheels of CC is looking for additional donations to make up for the loss of $100,000 in federal funding. But I always like to know what the real facts are.

Posted by FanDanville
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:02 am

Meals On Wheels (not sure which one) is already cutting people!
I think that they are feeling a financial pinch and so are "looking for reasons" to cut people, but sometimes not so rightly.

For instance, I know of one 66-year old man, a stroke survivor with extreme talking and walking difficulties (a former accountant with no family members, now broke and destitute and living on a meager amount of government assistance), who has been barely surviving over the past 4 years of independent living and that was WITH the once-a-day provision of a small, free (to him) healthy meal from Meals On Wheels.

Now Meals On Wheels has cut those meals to him for some unclear reason (as nothing has changed on his end, except gotten worse financially).

One volunteer friend is trying to find him replacement food in the county, spending hours of time driving him all over, looking for food or meals.
I've heard that county "Food Assistance" provided him with a monthly allotment of food that consisted of:
2 cauliflowers,
2 cabbages,
1 loaf of bread,
1 package of sliced sandwich ham,
2 cans of diced tomatoes,
2 cans of peaches,
1 bag of red beans,
1 bag of mashed potato mix, and
1 box of generic Cheereos cereal.
That's supposed to feed him for a month?
If he can get back there again next month, he can pick up a similar allotment.

He can't drive (can hardly walk).
He can't work (can hardly talk).
He can't cook (can hardly read accurately).
But he is alive and well in most other regards. He can think, comprehend most things, and feel.

Even with MOW food, he was only surviving in the past four years because some volunteers would step in every once in awhile to take him places or donate money or meals.

Now MOW has surmised that "these unrelated volunteers" can take care of him (even though they are disappearing after 7 years from stroke).

The elimination of a guaranteed once-a-day healthy meal has been a big blow to him!

This man is an American-born citizen. In most other countries, he probably would have died on the street 7 years ago. In this country, he is barely surviving and unable to advocate for himself up against the hoards of foreign immigrants that are storming and swamping the welfare system.

The government isn't really taking care of these people: its citizens.
And organizations like MOW aren't really meeting all the needs either.

If you've got money, hope that you keep it and that it keeps you away from this same predicament.

Posted by David
a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 25, 2013 at 11:21 am

Sadly, you are finally seeing the repercussions of Obama's policies. My wife and I are cutting down on our charity donations since our taxes are now headed upward. Many others like us are doing the same thing. You liberals now get to live with your poor choice!

Posted by P
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm

It really saddens me to hear of the unfortunate circumstances that can happen to even the most educated, hard working citizens of this country. This man was an accountant which means most likely he paid his taxes and wasn't abusing the welfare system. Now that he needs some help, he won't be getting it. This can happen to anybody, especially those who don't have children or family,and sometimes that doesn't guarantee one will recieve the much needed help from them if one should be disabled. This is a prime example of how our country is so concerned of the welfare of foreigners without first helping our own tax paying citizens who paid into the system all their lives and not get back from it if they need assistance. Charity begins first at home(our country)so that when "home" is strong enough to stand on its feet, then we can help others. I am not being cold hearted but practical in the sense of who deserves the help when resources/programs are limited. I too will be cutting back on charity and little luxuries for our family, like eating out sometimes, since we are feeling the squeeze of higher taxes, cut back hours, no health insurance (we pay out of pocket when needed) and the unknown future of more additional taxes. I agree with David that the Libs will have to live with their choices but their choices affects us all.

Posted by bill
a resident of Danville
on Apr 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

yesterday on the radio a former driver for meals on wheels
stated she was delivering meals to many people who could affort
to purchase there own meals. in some cases the individual had
young people living at the home who could have helped prepare
a meal. the radio caller said she quit the job due to the lack
of qualifing individuals for meals.............sounds live ever
other government program to me

Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2013 at 7:02 am

Well, David, that's quite a variation on the "starve the beast" mentality. I just never thought of hungry oldsters as "beasts."

I hope others treat you better than that, should you ever suffer a calamitous misfortune.

Posted by David
a resident of Blackhawk
on Apr 26, 2013 at 7:35 am

Wow, Citizen Paine, you just don't get it! I am being forced to give more to the "beast" in taxes which is why my charitable donations are going down to avoid my having a "calamitous misfortune." Obama is already wasting too much money on poorly run social programs, so if I have to give more to them, it has to come from somewhere...

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2013 at 9:26 am


Let's be clear, one would think that most ardent conservatives would be saying (paraphrase):

"That's just fine as an outcome. The hungry and destitute at a later stage of life should have planned better. My father taught me to be self-sufficient. Need no one to come to your rescue because there won't be anyone. Come now, socially security even in Roosevelt's eyes was never meant to offer a full retirement. It was just meant to get the 'old' out of the workplace so as to get the young a job during the Great Depression. You work till the day you ..." or some other similar statement. I can still hear the Ol' man barking this out.

Or is that we really have come to like these kinds of social outreach programs but just not others?

Perhaps, it's just that after we pay for something like this, contribute to a new aircraft carrier for the Navy, build a taller fence on our southern border and so forth, we just don't want to see one cent going to things or people that we just don't personally approve. And all of this started with the election of and continued with the re-election of Barack Obama.

Give me a break...

Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Apr 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

So, David, let's see if I DO understand: going from Historically Low tax rates to merely Really Low tax rates, you must curtail charity -- just to keep the lights-on in Blackhawk? And you justify this because, suddenly, under this President, government programs are horribly wasteful? And so those desperate seniors without food are being cut loose, lest they pull you under? Is that about it?

Maybe you could join Heels on Wheels.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Apr 29, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Well, joined the thread to add my perspective on how devastating the MOW loss will be, given that I refer people to them frequently. I'm having trouble keeping a cogent thought in my head with the notion of forming a "Heels on Wheels" non-profit, for the Davids of Blackhawk. Nicely played, CP.

Back to topic. The loss of funding for programs that keep low income seniors in their homes provides a slippery slope to early institutionalization in skilled nursing facilities, with the government paying much more in the form of Medical (which does not cover less skilled facilities). Keeping Meals on Wheels funded is a no brainer in not only keeping seniors in their own homes, but in avoiding unnecessary financial strain related to early institutionalization. In comparison, it's a drop in the bucket.

Posted by Jerry Gianotti
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2013 at 9:01 am

And the lead story on DRUDGE--won't be touched by the main stream media---is the Boston Bomberz and their families received over $100,000.00 in taxpayer "assistance!"

The big plan is to get rid of seniors any way possible----lack of food or denying healthcare based on an Obama formula. This is NOT a party issue. It is a morality issue.

Posted by Louise
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2013 at 9:40 am

We are beginning to see the tip of the iceberg. With an increasing aging population who need government financial assistance, and an increase in immigration and high unemployment, there will be less people donating to charities. This is not difficult to understand. Federal and state income taxes have gone up for the wealthy who pay the highest share and there are less incentives to donate to charities. It is just a matter of time when charities will start running out of money. Meals on Wheels is one of the casualties. The government cannot solve all problems, though it tries desperately.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2013 at 9:45 am

@Jerry - just looking at the times during which the benefits were provided, the bulk was when the bombers were children living with their parents (the older brother’s family received benefits for two years after the birth of his child). This puts the bulk of the benefits period in the middle of the Bush administration. Either way, it’s sobering information but perhaps we can resist the urge to blame the current administration (and play out our paranoid delusions for all to see) for every tragedy that befalls the country.

Back to topic: non-profit programs and government assisted services have been receiving cuts for so many years, that our seniors and other at risk individuals have been moving from one to another – for example, from the Adult Day Health Care program (which closed due to lack of funding) where they received meals, socialization, physical and occupational therapies, etc. to now being home bound and receiving one subsidized meal a day. Once that meal is gone, Diane is right – they will be more at risk for moving to a nursing home and being paid for by our tax dollars!

Posted by Catherine
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2013 at 11:03 am

@ Sharon

Just so you have the correct facts, the family received the $100,000 assistance from 2002 - 2012 which makes it a 60/40 split, so the current administration is just as responsible! In addition, it is the CURRENT White House resident who has the mentality that those who work hard and are successful should pay for those who want to sit on their behinds and have us pay for them. Also, which President wanted to use $250,000 as the tax standard? Get real!

Back to the topic at hand, you all may not agree with David, P., or Jerry, but this is exactly what is going to happen to all these charities because we are expected to pay more taxes than we should and donation deductions are being phased out, so why would we give to them? Generally, families come first and if it is a choice between a person’s family and a stranger, who do you think they are going to pick? This is the fallout from poor administration choices.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Talk about the paranoid delusionals coming out in force!

Should we all be shedding more tears if the Blackhawk crowd is forced to cut back on its charitable contributions instead of champagne, bon-bons, and ocean cruises?

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2013 at 2:24 pm

@Carolyn, my understanding is that the family of four received assistance when the boys were young, starting in 2002, and that the older brother received assistance after his child was born, until that child was two years old. A family of three, with a non-disabled head of household, receiving benefits for two years would be considerably less than a family of four – especially with two of those four being children. Considering the reports that this family was granted over $100,000. in benefits, it stands to reason that the bulk of this was granted during the previous administration. However – my point was simply to make it clear that the current administration is being blamed for these benefits being provided at all, even though over 50% (we can agree on this, as even you call it a 60/40 split) were provided during the previous administration.

RE: your point about charitable contributions – I agree that the proposed cuts to tax deductions related to charitable contributions will likely result in fewer contributions being made to non-profits. Many people are motivated to donate based on the tax deductions they receive for doing so, and these individuals will be less likely to make those contributions, especially at the end of the year which is a pretty customary period of giving. The non-profit I work for has seen a steady reduction in contributions over the past 10-12 years, and this proposed change will likely result in additional cuts to services we can provide. As for me, the tax deduction I receive for supporting the organizations that I contribute to are a nice benefit, but they won't keep me from making a contribution.

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on Apr 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm


Striking that it is only the CURRENT administration to have ever taxed "...those that work hard and are successful...". Presuming that you are no 'spring chicken' as all of us are not who post to these website during the middle of the normal workday, you likely paid taxes for earned income under prior administrations.

So let's review. You'll find all of the follow from the Tax Foundation (independent think tank since 1937) website (Web Link

I suspect that your a big Reaganite. You realize that many of us paid on marginal rates as high as 50% under The Gipper? Under Ford and Carter, top marginal rates were as high as 70% (first two years or so of Reagan's first term). If you go back to 'The Great Republican' and 'Hero of Normandy', our parents had a top marginal rate of 91% (Ninety-One Percent). Notice a theme?

In those days, we believed in paying for the wars we participated. In today's speak, that would be 'pay to play' expectations. I won't even cite how much more the cap gains rates were then they are today.

In 2013, a married filling jointly income threshold of $450k USD commands a 'marginal' rate of 39.6%. Know what income level would have been required for an equivalent rate in say 1960? $24k USD (38%). That is just less than five percent of the 2013 income. Adjusted for inflation from 1960, that $24k is about $185k today.

Yet, amongst all of this taxation, charities got funded, kids still played in Little League, mothers still made apple pie... Get off the high horse.

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 9:44 am

@Catherine - to further clarify Sharon's points: the brothers also have a sister, so that would have been a family of 5 receiving benefits during the Bush administration, vs. a family of 3, only 1 being a non able bodied adult, receiving benefits for 2 years during the Obama administration. How's that 60/40 split look to you now?

The point here, is that we need seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible to keep them from needing skilled nursing care and accessing Medical to do it. If a program that provides a subsidy for food to low income seniors makes that possible, it's a win-win.

Posted by Catherine
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

@ Diane - apparently you cannot do math so what you have to say doesn't mean much. Read your post carefully and find your own mistake!

Enjoy your day...

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi Catherine, thanks! I'm off today and am loving the leisure life. I hope you are enjoying your day as well.

True, I'm not a math wiz, so please enlighten me. The 60/40 split was your contribution, so I'm assuming you are objecting to the family of 5 comment (two parents, one daughter, two sons?) receiving benefits over multiple years, or the family of 3 comment (two parents, one baby) receiving benefits for two years? Where did I go wrong?

No snappy comments for Conservator? I thought he/she had contributed great info, with much math involved even! I was impressed - how about you?

Posted by Catherine
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Glad you are enjoying this gorgeous day, Diane!

Anyway, your mistake is that they received benefits for 4 years during BO's administration - not 2 as you stated (2002-2008 Bush/2009-2012 BO. This is where I get the 60/40.

Second, although there many have been that many family members in the original family, I believe you need to be a citizen in order to receive welfare, and I don't believe they were all citizens so your calculations would be incorrect. Based on that alone, it is probably more of a 50/50 split or even more skewed towards BO’s administration.

And with regard to Conservator, I don’t waste my time…

Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm

@Catherine, undocumented immigrants are unable to receive benefits (an argument that is frequently misunderstood by tea party types who complain that they are taking our hard earned dollars. Good that you understand this fact!). The bombers parents, however, were not undocumented and according to reports, were receiving both section 8 housing and AFDC, as well as food stamps and Medical in order to support their family of 5. Supporting this family of five would clearly result in a greater level of benefits than supporting a family of three, where benefits would be reduced because both parents were capable of employment.

Really? You think Conservator is a waste of your time? I was thinking you were just lacking a good retort and decided to avoid him/her. I find him/her enlightening.

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my day!

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm

@Diane, your comments are too kind. Your opinions enlightened.

@Catherine, I understand. Statements of historical fact versus rantings and callous opinions can be awkward if not downright 'thorny' to have to deal address. I concur that you should stay focused on the latter pairing. It is likely the entree which best suits your palette.

Posted by Catherine
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Apparently, some thiink they are Ernest Hemingway when they are more like Dav Pilkey. Although, I do enjoy a good laugh from those who have nothing to offer.

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on May 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm


Since you are clearly a literary aficionado with a library full of notable authors (not the least of which is the gent who wrote Captain Underpants), I think that you would appreciate another author's wise words.

"my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." I. Asimov

Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on May 2, 2013 at 8:24 am

Commenters, left and right: we are nattering while old folks' stomachs burn.

MealsonWheels needs $100,000. That's a Benji-a-piece from one-thousand folks who can afford it. Here's the donation link, or the mailing address is in the article: Web Link

I'm "in," having just completed my $100 donation on-line. Who's with me?

Posted by Conservator
a resident of Danville
on May 2, 2013 at 10:00 am


You are right. It is just too 'easy' to focus on the fiddling while Rome burns around us.

I will follow your thoughtful lead. I strongly encourage you to repost the donation link as a standalone topic without all of the mutual discourse carried along as useless freight.

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