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Meals-on-Wheels Jeopardized By Government Shutdown

Aired 10/16/13 on KPBS News.

The non-profit organization Meals-on-Wheels says some deliveries of meals to seniors are in jeopardy due to the government shutdown.

Meals-on-Wheels relies on U.S. Navy volunteers to deliver more than 500 meals a day. But as of last Friday, the Navy's community service program was suspended due to the government shutdown — forcing the food delivery organization to scramble to find volunteers.

Debbie Case, president of Meals-on-Wheels of Greater San Diego, said even if the shutdown ends soon, she doesn't expect the Navy volunteers to get back immediately to delivering meals.

"We have to pick up all the pieces that kind of fell by the wayside,” Case said. “I don't think community service is going to be at the top of their list to get back to."

Case said she's confident the Navy volunteers will be back eventually. In the meantime, the organization is looking for about 200 volunteers to fill the gap.

She hopes they'll stay on to help the organization keep up with increasing demand for deliveries of fresh, low-cost meals.

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