Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney clarified Wednesday that the Trump administration isn't looking to cut the "Meals on Wheels" program, two months after stoking controversy over the possibility that seniors might lose their home-delivered meals.
"Let's talk about Meals on Wheels, because we don't reduce it," Mulvaney said Wednesday at a House hearing on the president's newly released budget.
In March, Mulvaney helped create the impression that the administration was looking to shrink funding for Meals on Wheels. Then, a reporter mistakenly suggested that the program would be cut as part of the administration's reductions to Community Development Block Grants, and Mulvaney responded that the grants don't work.
Mulvaney's comments resulted in extensive media coverage of the possibility that homebound seniors might lose their meals. On Wednesday, however, Mulvaney noted Meals on Wheels actually gets most of its funding through a separate Department of Health and Human Services program that is not targeted for cuts.
"There's no reduction in that program," he said.
Some states use the Community Development Block Grants to fund Meals on Wheels, Mulvaney noted, but that funding makes up a minuscule amount of the program's overall funding, and states could continue to provide it through other means.
While he did suggest that the block grants are not a good use of federal funds, Mulvaney said the administration has not suggested that Meals on Wheels is ineffective.
The program serves 2.4 million seniors, according to Meals on Wheels America.