Eastern Shore Senior Services Facing Budget Cuts - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Eastern Shore Senior Services Facing Budget Cuts

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WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. - Faced with the recent news of state and federal cuts in the budget, MAC Inc., located in Salisbury, is looking at potential cuts to senior services and programs.

Peggy Bradford, the Executive Director of MAC Inc. tells WBOC that her organization just found out about the budget changes a few weeks ago.  Now, the area agency for aging will have about $244,000 less to operate with for the upcoming year.  Meaning cuts to important programs like Meals on Wheels, meals at senior centers, and in-home care for the frail elderly.

"The dilemma is, how do you deal with those kinds of funding cuts without hurting people? And the answer is, we can't," Bradford said on Monday. 

MAC Inc. has 11 senior centers in Dorchester, Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico counties and these cuts are going to impact all four of those eastern shore counties.  Monday, a few dozen seniors attended a public hearing to express their displeasure with losing the funds.

If nothing changes, MAC Inc. anticipates delivering about 5,800 fewer meals through Meals on Wheels.  About 8,500 fewer meals will be served in those 11 senior centers.  There will be a reduction in the hours available for in-home care for the frail.  Plus, reduced days of operation and available transportation for at least five of the senior centers.  

Seniors WBOC spoke with on Monday said losing these services or cuts in programs would be very detrimental for them.

"I'd probably have to end up stop coming to the center, because as I said, I don't have any other means of transportation at this time, so I'd probably have to end up stop coming to the center," said Pernell Morton of Salisbury.

All of the comments made on Monday will be sent with MAC Inc.'s plan for dealing with the cuts to the Maryland Department of Aging.  A few of the areas elected officials also attended Monday's public hearing, including Senator Jim Mathias, who told the seniors in attendance that it was a top priority for him to get some of this money re-allocated back to the Eastern Shore. 

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