Central New York, Community, Government, Non-profit

Meals on Wheels Sees Flood of Support During National Volunteer Week

Volunteers Marshall Ruffing and Nicole Anes help at Meals on Wheels in Downtown Syracuse. (c) Olivia Liskowitz

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By Olivia Liskowitz SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) It’s National Volunteer Week and the Meals on Wheels in downtown Syracuse has seen an outpouring of support. One of the biggest reasons for the support, however, is President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

If approved, the budget would cut $300,000, or about one-third, of the local chapter’s current budget. This presents a big problem because Syracuse has thousands of residents well below the poverty line who rely on the organization for food.

Tina Casella, the Volunteer Coordinator for Meals on Wheels in Syracuse, says that without volunteers, it would be impossible for a non-profit organization to run successfully.

“Our volunteers do so much for us. They do everything from cooking the food, to delivering the food, to serving the food. I can’t express how much we need them,” Casella said.

The fact that Meals on Wheels faces potential budget cuts is obviously not a good thing. However, Casella optimistically says that the press they’ve received because of the proposal has caused hundreds of Central New Yorkers to rush and show their support by volunteering.

“I’ve definitely noticed a surge since the news has been on funding and budget cuts,” she said. “Many of our volunteers have been local college and high-school students who want to make a difference, even if they can’t influence the budget. It’s nice to see.”

National Volunteer Week runs until this Sunday, April 23rd.