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Meals on Wheels America sees surge in donations

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Meals on Wheels America, the umbrella organization for 5,000 providers of home-delivered meals for seniors, said on Saturday that online donations have surged since the White House released a proposed budget that could lead to a big drop in its funding.

The organization, which provides advocacy services for the national network, received about $50,000 on Thursday after the budget blueprint was announced, compared with $1,000 on a typical day.

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President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal includes a 17.9 percent cut for fiscal 2018 in funds for the Department of Health and Human Services, which provides most of the government support for Meals on Wheels, the organization said.

The budget proposal did not say how the cut would affect the Administration for Community Living, the HHS agency that funds nutrition programs for the elderly, Meals on Wheels spokeswoman Jenny Bertolette said.

Meals on Wheels said on its website that it is difficult to imagine a scenario under which the next federal budget would not have an impact on its services.

“While Meals on Wheels America and local Meals on Wheels programs are seeing an uptick in giving, it does not replace federal funding,” Bertolette told Reuters in an email.

The White House referred questions about the HHS budget to the department.

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An HHS representative referred to a statement from Secretary Tom Price released earlier this week. “HHS is dedicated to fulfilling our department’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the American people. This budget supports that mission and will help ensure we are delivering critical services to our fellow citizens,” the statement said.

Trump’s budget proposal calls for a sharp increase in military spending and a like reduction in most discretionary non-defense programs, prompting a wave of concern from Democrats and some of the president’s fellow Republicans.

Bertolette said the national Meals on Wheels association did not know whether its local members have seen a similar jump in donations.

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One in six seniors “struggles with hunger,” according to the organization, which provides its services free of charge for those who cannot afford to pay.

Seniors who have fresh meals delivered daily show greater improvement in health and well-being than those who get frozen meals delivered once a week or no meals at all, the organization said, citing research from Brown University and funded by AARP Inc.

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According to the website, Meals on Wheels America hosts a resource center on nutrition with the help of federal funding.

(Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler and Leslie Adler)


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The end of King Bibi? Indicted Netanyahu fights for future

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Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu's indictment on corruption charges prompted speculation Friday that the end of his decade-long tenure as 'King Bibi' is nigh.

The Jewish state woke up to an indicted sitting prime minister for the first time, after the country's attorney general announced late Thursday he had charged the 70-year-old with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

After months of speculation Avichai Mandelblit's decision was the worst possible outcome for Netanyahu, hitting him with the most serious charges.

Israel's longest-serving premier swiftly hit back, vowing to fight on and accusing the police and legal system of bias against the right-wing in an often angry speech.

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First Saudi woman driver to race car in kingdom

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Sliding behind the wheel of a sleek electric SUV, Reema Juffali is set to blaze a trail in male-dominated motor sports as the first Saudi woman to race in the kingdom.

Such adrenalin rushes were unimaginable for women in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom until June last year, when it overturned the world's only ban on female motorists as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's wide-ranging liberalization drive.

Juffali, a 27-year-old who made her motoring debut just months after the decades-old ban ended, will compete Friday and Saturday in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY, an all-electric race in Diriyah, close to the capital Riyadh.

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‘This is the president of betrayal’: MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch explains how Democrats can use impeachment to defeat Trump in 2020

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Democrats don't appear to have convinced Senate Republicans to convict President Donald Trump, but MSNBC's Donny Deutsch said they can use findings from the impeachment hearings to campaign against him next year.

The "Morning Joe" contributor urged Democrats to develop a coherent theme based on the findings turned up by House investigators to convince voters to do what congressional Republicans aren't willing to do -- remove the president from office.

"Does anybody know 'Bob Loves Abishola'?" Deutsch asked. "That's a show on CBS, you know, had about five, six million viewers the other night. That's what these hearings have done. We live in a little bit of a bubble that we sit here and we watch. The reality is, when you look at that new Emerson poll where we've lost 5 percent of people who even believe he should be impeached and 14 percent removed from office."

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