Local Meals on Wheels program concerned over proposed budget cuts

ODESSA -- The new presidential budget proposal could slash funding for a popular program across the country.

Odessa Meals on Wheels location at 1314 E 5th St.

We take a look at what this means for Meals on Wheels of Odessa and the hundreds of clients they serve each day.

For nearly two decades, Charlie Banks, 85, has relied on the meal service.

"[Meals on Wheels] It means a lot, hmm, it means a lot," said Banks.

But a new budget proposal could threaten funding for the organization.

The Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Odessa says a good portion of their clients don't have the ability to cook.

"I have one client that cannot use a stove because they don't have a memory to turn off the fire so that meal is very important to them," said Margaret Burton.

Under President Trump's proposed 2018 budget plan, the community development block grant program would be eliminated.

And that program funnels money to Meals on Wheels.

This year, they received $35,000 from the CDBJ program, which helps to feed about 53 people.

Just to give you an idea Meals on Wheels serves an average of 500 meals a day just in Odessa.

"I hate for it to scare my clients because some have called -- they're concerned, they don't realize it's a budget process," said Burton.

If the proposal passes juggling funds will become a daily part of the organization's routine.

We have tried to make arrangements and that's what I will do this year -- raise more funds from our fundraiser -- Mud Bug or from the community as a whole," Burton explained.

In the meantime, Burton wants to send a message to all her clients.

"I hope they don't get real concerned that they'll lose their meals because we will feed them," Burton said.

Especially those close to her heart, like Charlie who would struggle without the service.

"It helps quite a bit," Banks tells CBS 7.

Meals on Wheels of Odessa will rely heavily on the community and fundraisers to continue their work.

Their annual Crawfish boil fundraiser at the Ector County Coliseum is just around the corner.

There will be a silent auction and a live jazz band playing.

The event takes place on Tuesday, April 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.