Mar 20, 2017 4:43 PM
SOMERSWORTH — One local director of the Meals on Wheels program said while President Donald Trump's budget would "cripple" the program in Strafford County, it's not yet time to panic about cuts proposed in it.
"If the budget went (forward) as planned, yes, I would be concerned, but I think it's early in the process," said Jaymie Chagnon, Executive Director of Strafford Nutrition & Meals on Wheels. "I wouldn't panic yet. We need to see how this plays out."
At a community roundtable in Somersworth on Monday, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter expressed the opposite opinion, saying constituents have "reason for deep concern" now.
"I think there's real reason for concern and it's because of what Steve Bannon said. He is President Trump's adviser ... his vision has been to pull apart the 'administrative state,' which is the government," Shea-Porter said, referencing comments Bannon made last month.
Monday's roundtable presented an opportunity for dozens of Strafford County residents to voice their concerns over the proposed budget, specifically on how it will impact the Meals on Wheels program in the Granite State.
Meals on Wheels is not a federal program, nor does it directly receive federal funding.
However, Chagnon explained in Strafford County, the program does rely on funds from two federal sources: the Older Americans Act and Community Development Block Grants. Money from these programs is filtered to the states and is divvied up to help fund state contracts for social programs.
The Older Americans Act is under the Department of Health and Human Services umbrella, while the block grants are part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Under the proposed budget, DHHS is facing a $12.6 billion cut next year, while HUD faces a $4.3 billion cut.
Chagnon said approximately 80 percent of the Strafford County's Meals on Wheels' total budget comes from the state contracts funded by those programs. That number also varies from county-to-county and state-to-state.
If the budget were to pass, Chagnon said it would likely be the end of the program, as community support and private donations wouldn't cover the difference.
Still, with 30 years of Meals on Wheels experience under her belt, she's confident the budget won't pass as-is, so long as citizens, like those who attended the roundtable, speak up.
"What they start out with and where they end up in the (budget) process can be relatively different," Chagnon said.
Chagnon and Shea-Porter agreed that'll only happen if citizens, like those who attended the roundtable, speak up.
"There's reason for deep concern right now and people, whether you're republican, democrat, independent, none of the above, need to be watching very closely to make sure that they like the direction it's going in," Shea-Porter said. "I suspect they don't."
She added the purpose of the roundtable was to let residents voice those opinions and to turn numbers and monetary values into people.
"These are real faces, and that's what we wanted to do," she said. "We wanted to show that the impact is going to be on real people and it's not just numbers out there."
This year, Chagnon estimates Meals on Wheels will distribute 106,000 meals throughout Strafford County.
While state contracts fund 82,000 of those meals, the remaining 24,000 come from additional funds raised, such as community sponsors or private donations.
Establishing ways to earn those additional funds will take time, Chagnon said.
"I'm hoping to build revenue and more support in this community for the long term, but right today, no, (the proposed budget cuts) would probably be the end of this program (in Strafford County)."
11 hours 22 minutes agoNH AG Gordon MacDonald held a press conference Thursday to report findings on the investigation into the officer-involved shooting in Hampton on June 13....
11 hours 27 minutes agoNearly 4,000 customers are without power. (More)
14 hours 4 minutes agoWork has begun on the property that will soon house New Hampshire's newest indoor gun range. (More)
18 hours 45 minutes agoThe Salem man's suit seeks $5.5 million for punitive damages after his car was towed and stored by a Methuen, Mass., company after an...
12 hours 11 minutes agoAn investigation has determined that a gas-powered generator is to blame for the carbon monoxide poisoning death of a man in Litchfield earlier this...
17 hours 22 minutes agoThe owner of a truck may be facing charges after leaving his dog in a truck Wednesday afternoon when the temperature was in the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:15 AMChester police officer conducts adorable "traffic stop" on Edwards Mill Road Tuesday night. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 3:56 PMThe neighborhood where a 6-year-old boy apparently overdosed is familiar with the opioid crisis. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 5:38 PMThe community is mourning Ciara Brill who passed away Tuesday after battling a rare brain cancer. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 2:27 PMA Maine woman who fled to safety amid a deadly rampage says her boyfriend's father promised not to hurt her as he killed his...
21 hours 27 minutes agoArizona Sen. McCain tells Sen. Lindsey Graham, "I'll be back" following treatments after cancer discovered cancerous tumor last week. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 10:27 AMNew Hampshire is likely to get the second heat wave of the summer the next few days. Some tips on how to beat the...
Jul 19, 2017 11:22 AMAMR personnel revived a 6-year-old boy with Narcan after they found him unresponsive in Manchester. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 9:38 AMThe Manchester Veterans Administration hospital reported a "catastrophic mechanical failure" at about 4 a.m. which flooded parts of the facility. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:19 AMSeveral area fire departments help fight the afternoon fire. (More)
Jul 19, 2017 7:49 AMA New Hampshire lobsterman has joined an elite club after catching a rare blue lobster. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:22 PMA new study shows boxed macaroni and cheese has more than 4 times the amount of harmful chemical than other cheeses. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 8:13 PMNH will become the 22nd state in the nation to decriminalize simple marijuana possession thanks to a bill Governor Sununu signed into law Tuesday....
Jul 18, 2017 12:45 PMA Troy man faces 20 charges after he allegedly fled from police while drunken driving. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:18 PMA former dean of students at Pembroke Academy was in court Tuesday following two previous missed appearances. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 3:10 PMRochester Police had previously gotten reports that the wanted man would 'not be taken alive' and 'would shoot any officer that tried arresting him.'...
Jul 17, 2017 4:04 PMEight-month-old baby Colton recently diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 12:16 PMSununu ranked towards the middle of the pack, coming in as the 19th most approved governor with a 57 percent approval rating. (More)
Jul 18, 2017 1:05 PMNew Hampshire's attorney general says a search is being conducted at a home where the bodies of two women were found in January. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:32 PMPolice arrest a New Hampshire man after witnesses say he dragged a woman out of his vehicle, punched her, and left her unconscious in...
Jul 17, 2017 2:06 PMA boating accident that killed a 12-year-old girl happened after her father's hat blew from his head. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 3:49 PMThose who visited Hampton Beach during the afternoon on July 9 should monitor themselves for measles symptoms. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 9:54 AMSkywatchers were buzzing over the weekend about a potential sighting of the northern lights, but most missed out on the bright lights known as...
Jul 16, 2017 4:23 PMThe Veterans Affairs Office is launching a review of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center following allegations of poor conditions and patient care. (More)
Jul 17, 2017 7:48 AMPolice say the three occupants of a 1993 Mustang were not properly restrained. Injuries came after the car hit a boulder and rolled over....
Jul 16, 2017 8:43 PMAfter a tough race, Denny Hamlin took home his first victory in nearly 28 races with the NASCAR series. (More)
Jul 15, 2017 2:49 PMThe New Hampshire State Police announced that they will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint in Bedford during the weekend of July 28, 2017. (More)
Jul 16, 2017 3:08 PMSpace weather forecasters say that a recent explosion on the sun could lead to a rare display of the bright dancing lights known as...
Jul 15, 2017 6:54 PMAn event celebrating the opening of a brand new indoor seating area at an NH Ben and Jerry's featured live music, face painting, and...
Jul 14, 2017 7:05 PMThe study shows that only 199 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 New Hampshire residents in 2015. (More)
Jul 14, 2017 11:18 AMManchester police said they participated in "Operation Poison Ivy" to improve the quality of life for residents who live in the area of Enright...
Jul 14, 2017 9:54 AMA dying veteran's wish is to hear from you. (More)
Jul 14, 2017 3:57 PMConway police officers is looking for some help from citizens after a middle-aged man reportedly went missing within the White Mountain Forest. (More)
Jul 14, 2017 8:39 AMAn NH State Representative has been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault stemming from an incident involving a 16-year-old girl in July 2016....
Jul 13, 2017 5:22 PMPolice arrested seven people on various drug charges as part of the Granite Hammer Operation. (More)
Jul 13, 2017 6:38 PMRecent sexual assault allegations at St. Paul's school in Concord sparked an investigation by the Attorney General's Office. (More)
Jul 13, 2017 7:18 PMA NH woman turned herself in at the Dover PD after a warrant was issued for charges of selling fentanyl which resulted in the...
Jul 13, 2017 4:34 PMThe Deputy Fire Marshal discussed the investigation into Wednesday's carbon monoxide incident in Litchfield which killed one man and injured a woman. (More)
Jul 13, 2017 8:36 AMA search and multiple arrest warrants lead police to arrest four people and confiscate guns, drugs and money. (More)
Jul 13, 2017 7:16 AMFirst responders arrived about 6 p.m. Wednesday to check on two people they say were living in a Litchfield home. (More)
Jul 12, 2017 5:20 PMVerizon confirmed that personal data of 6 millions customers had been leaked online, according to CNN. (More)
Jul 12, 2017 10:21 AMA Concord woman was arrested after returning to the Salem Police Department twice in a span of five hours to ask for drugs back...
Jul 12, 2017 1:49 PMSamantha Grenier's arraignment on the new charges is postponed after her attorney withdrew from the case. (More)
Jul 12, 2017 2:47 PMAn officer allegedly found drugs on two New Hampshire residents after receiving a complaint about a possible impaired driver. (More)