MIFA's senior services cut by sequestration - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MIFA's senior services cut by sequestration

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The plan, now in its first year, aims to streamline the non-profit's spending, increase its collaborative partnerships and encourage more volunteerism within its services. The plan, now in its first year, aims to streamline the non-profit's spending, increase its collaborative partnerships and encourage more volunteerism within its services.
Monday, its leadership said Congress's automatic spending cuts, or sequestration, will slice four percent of its annual budget for four of its critical home-bound senior services. Monday, its leadership said Congress's automatic spending cuts, or sequestration, will slice four percent of its annual budget for four of its critical home-bound senior services.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC TV) - Like the proverbial cupboard, the coolers and ovens at Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) are getting bare.

Monday, its leadership said Congress's automatic spending cuts, or sequestration, will slice four percent of its annual budget for four of its critical home-bound senior services.

The services, each partially supported with taxpayer funds authorized by The Older Americans Act of 1965, include:

* MIFA's Meals On Wheels. MIFA's Chief Operating Officer Dot Gilbertson said the cuts will jeopardize 18,000 Monday-through-Friday lunches for 58 home-bound recipients. The meals, Gilbertson said, account for a third of the recipients' total nutrition. "It's also to extend their independence in the home," she said.

* MIFA's Senior Companion Program. It pays and trains low-income seniors to provide companionship and assistance to qualifying home-bound seniors. Federal cuts will jeopardize the stipend and an estimated 6,075 hours of senior assistance, said Gilbertson.

* Senior Transit. The non-profit stands to lose enough Aging Commission of the Mid-South funding to cut 1,500 trips for doctors' visits, grocery shopping and government agency assistance.

* Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Gilbertson said the cuts could cost partial funding for the non-profit's long-term care advocacy service.

Gilbertson said MIFA's leadership saw the writing on the wall as early as three years ago. Higher food and fuel costs - combined with flattening government funding - prompted it to craft a 3-year plan to offset the costs.

The plan, now in its first year, aims to streamline the non-profit's spending, increase its collaborative partnerships and encourage more volunteerism within its services.

"We are making programmatic changes that are saving us dollars that then can be used for client services," said Gilbertson.

You may donate directly to MIFA through its secure donation web page.

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