SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Concerns of inflation have spread far and wide throughout the year, impacting people and organizations. Meals on Wheels Syracuse isn’t an exception. The organization has been providing meals to seniors, and home-bound people, since 1959. The goal is to provide nutritious meals for people unable to shop for themselves. However, those meals have come at a cost to the organization. Mason Kaufman, the Executive Director of Meals on Wheels, said there’s more expense due to food inflation.
“If gas prices are higher then the delivery of the food becomes more costly and the prices go up. If Inflation for producing the food or transporting the food goes up then the price of food goes up. And it goes up for us as well, so when we’re buying food from the vendors instead of buying food at the budget level, we expected it goes higher and we still have to buy the food”.
While the inflation has been hard to keep up with Kaufman observed there has been an improvement in prices. “Now fortunately from last year I think it got as high as 50% its dropped some,” Kaufman said. “It’s closer I think to nine percent or something like that, so that’s better for us”.
Another concern for Meals on Wheels Syracuse is federal funding. They’re reliant on different streams of federal funding as a source of income. It enables them to support the clients they feed. However, each one is capped at a certain amount. If they exceed that limit, they’ll be forced to put people on waiting lists. Presently, there’s no concern that they’ll hit that limit, but Kaufman said politics could affect future funding.
“Is there gonna be cuts, are there not gonna be cuts, are there gonna be increases. So that’s always looming, and you just don’t know what gonna be in the next years ahead,” Kaufman said. “It depends on the elections and who’s in office. And that leaves us at an uncertainty in the future always”.
Despite the stress, Linda Llewellyn, a volunteer at Meals on Wheels Syracuse’s, said their mission is still worth it. “A woman told me yesterday that people don’t come to visit her very much anymore,” Llewellyn said.” She lights up when you come to the door”.