This week, the Department of Health and Human Services put out an estimate of the sequester’s effect on a range of services, including programs that provide meals for vulnerable seniors.
Here in Oregon, those programs are facing a nearly $8 million cut in the next fiscal year.
Pamela Norr is the Executive Officer at the Central Oregon Council on Aging. It receives funding through the Older Americans Act.
Norr says her group is looking at a $40,000 cut over the next three and half months. She expects to absorb about half of that through furloughs and slashing mileage reimbursements for volunteers. But even then, the agency faces a $17,000 shortfall.
Federal law requires the council to contract with local non-profits that actually deliver the meals. Norr hopes more savings might be found there.
“We just actually met with the sites themselves to talk to them about what that cut looks like and then going forward we’ll help to brainstorm with them to keep that impact as minimal as possible,” said Norr.
She expects to have a clearer picture in a few weeks of the ultimate effect on seniors.