THE Glenelg Shire Council has slashed funding for their Meals on Wheels program by nearly 30 per cent, while at the same time increasing the price of meals, generating $76,000 income.
The council’s budget papers, adopted last week, show a reduction in funding from $294,000 last financial year to $204,000 this year, with $280,000 in income.
This year’s budget says the Meals on Wheels program provides 25,000 meals for 272 clients — the same number of meals and clients as the previous year — but the council has since said the figures are incorrect and fewer people will use the program in 2012/13.
“Meals on Wheels has been steadily reducing over the past three years.
“(The) budget has previously been left the same to try and encourage more clients to take up meals on wheels. “This has not eventuated so funds have been reallocated to Planned Activity Group,” a council spokeswoman said.
However, the budget for the Planned Activity Group, a Home and Community Care program providing social and recreational activities to the aged, has increased by only $9000 from last year’s budget — not by the $90,000 removed from Meals on Wheels. The council is also forecasting an additional $30,000 income from that program from participation costs.
Read more in Friday’s edition of the Portland Observer.