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N.H. Meals On Wheels Providers Nervous About Trump Budget

Sean Hurley, NHPR
Dick Jaeger (left) talks with Donald Patten as he delivers meals for the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council.

Among the groups in New Hampshire expressing concern over President Donald Trump’s proposed budget are local providers of the Meals on Wheels program.

Meals on Wheels services are administered by local organizations all over the country and is not a federal program. But those local providers receive a varying, but substantial amount of money from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. President Trump is proposing to cut that agency’s budget by 18 percent.

That’s led to a mood of general anxiety for people like Jaime Chagnon who runs the Strafford Nutrition Meals on Wheels program in Somersworth.

“The important thing for us to do now is not to panic but talk about, you know, if you decide to do this, this could be the results, this is what’s likely to happen.”

Chagnon said roughly 40 percent of her agency’s funding comes from the federal government. The Trump administration has not specified where the spending cuts at DHHS would fall, so it’s unclear exactly what the impact would be.

Congressional budget writers will weigh in on Trump’s proposal in the coming months.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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