Odessa City Council approves major cuts to Meals on Wheels and West Texas Food Bank funding

Published: Jun. 28, 2023 at 9:31 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The Odessa City Council allocated Meals on Wheels only $15,000 of the over $77,000 requested to help fund 66 seniors for a full year.

It was part of the council’s allocation of a total of $971,501 in community development block grants.

Executive Director of Meals on Wheels Odessa Craig Stoker says while it is disappointing, it’s understandable.

“We’re going to have to rearrange our budget but it’s still going to allow us to serve over 5,600 meals which is absolutely helpful to our program,” said Stoker.

Last year meals on wheels was allocated over $150,000 dollars.

“The ask was actually already cut in half from last year. There was Cares Act funding that just wasn’t available this year so we did have to go ahead and temper that ask,” said Stoker.

Stoker says over their 37 year partnership the city has allocated over $1.4 million to Meals on Wheels so they are grateful for what they did get.

“Sometimes our grandparents need a little extra help so it’s something people can very easily identify with. So again I know that it will create a budget shortfall but I’m not worried about making up the difference I know that the community will rally around us,” said Stoker.

The money they receive goes towards purchasing meals and the cost to feed a senior is about $5 a person.

The West Texas Food Bank received $10,000 of the $82,000 they requested.

The food bank sent a statement to CBS7:

“We are always thankful for the support for our work within the community. Of course, we are always saddened when our request does not work out as planned, but we realize funders have many difficult decisions to be made in such uncertain financial times. We are blessed to live in such a generous community, and I am confident that the West Texas Food Bank will see tremendous support to make up the deficit to feed our seniors in need within Ector County. Please visit our website to see how you can help our neighbors in need,” said CEO Libby Campbell.

If you want to help support Meals on Wheels but can’t donate they always are in need of volunteers.

You can visit the West Texas Food Bank website for more information on how to help them.