People have been left riled after US President Donald Trump revealed his budget proposals include slashing domestic programmes.
Meals on Wheels, the popular service that provides food to the elderly, would see a sharp funding cut if his plans go ahead.
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said the government “can’t spend money on programmes just because they sound good”.
— Meals on Wheels (@_MealsOnWheels) March 16, 2017
The exact size of the cut isn’t yet known, but millions of home-bound pensioners across the US receive meals and home visits through the programme.
People have responded to Mulvaney’s comments in the best way – by donating.
According to Yahoo News, 50 times the normal amount of donations were pledged to Meals on Wheels after Trump’s proposal was submitted to Congress.
It’s not just cash being offered – people are also volunteering their time.
Tomorrow, call your local Meals on Wheels program. Ask them how you can help. It's a couple hours of your time every weekend. #trumpbudget
— Darwin Brandis (@DarwinBrandis) March 16, 2017
Want to stand up to Trump AND make a difference in someone's life? Donate time or funds to your local Meals on Wheels.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) March 17, 2017
I've volunteered for @_MealsOnWheels. The people who came to the door were mostly too ill or frail to leave the house. Donate. They need it.
— Kari Wahlgren (@KariWahlgren) March 17, 2017
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) March 16, 2017
Meals on Wheels America spokeswoman Jenny Bertolette said it saw “an almost 500% jump in volunteer sign-ups” on the AmericaLetsDoLunch website, Yahoo News reported.
Meanwhile, some politicians have vowed to protect the programme, such as Republican Gus Bilirakis of Florida, who said on Friday that he’s “been a fan of Meals on Wheels forever”.
People also took to social media to share heartbreaking reasons why they are against Trump’s proposals to make cuts to the service.
When my dad was first showing signs of dementia & I couldn't get to OH to get to him yet #MealsOnWheels SAVED him. Literally kept him alive.
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) March 16, 2017
My granny's cancer came back in 2014, and up until October 2016 she lived alone. #MealsonWheels was a big help to her.
— Toiaya (@JustToiaya) March 16, 2017
Meals on Wheels is sometimes the ONLY human contact a senior might have…I've seen it with my own eyes.😢😢
This is just horrifying. https://t.co/TzuICEhxzC
— LtUhura 2017 (@LtUhura2017) March 16, 2017
In a statement on its website, Meals on Wheels America wrote: “While we don’t know the exact impact yet, cuts of any kind to these highly successful and leveraged programmes would be a devastating blow to our ability to provide much-needed care for millions of vulnerable seniors in America, which in turn saves billions of dollars in reduced healthcare expenses.”
In his statement that accompanied the budget, called “America First”, Trump said: “To keep Americans safe, we have made the tough choices that have been put off for too long.”