Valley Programs for Aging Services Feel Federal Cuts

By: David Coy Email
By: David Coy Email

HARRISONBURG -- One Valley program is feeling the effects of sequestration. The non-profit group, Valley Program for Aging Services, has seen a major cut of federal funding but hasn't given up yet.

The group helps many seniors all across the Valley. Due to sequestration, the non-profit has lost more $100,000. To fight this, they're asking for more help.

Virginia Shifflette is just one of 1,100 people in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County to be served by the VPAS and Meals on Wheels. She said she received a letter last week from the program.

"They are sort of in a pinch. Just like every other place. Having to cut corners," said Shifflette.

Shifflette said the letter doesn't worry her.

"I'm still able to do for myself. If someone needs a meal, it's fine. It's fine. I wouldn't want to take it from someone else," said Shifflette.

That's what the VPAS doesn't want. It still wants business as usual.

"Any cut in funds takes a big hit to the number of meals we can provide," said VPAS Director of Senior Services Beth Bland.

Bland said the VPAS in Harrisonburg has lost more than $25,000 because of federal budget cuts.

"The approach we are taking is to reach out to the community and ask for support. And also to ask support from the people who use our services if their budget allows that," said Bland.

Bland said VPAS will continue to try and raise funds until it has to make cuts. Shifflette is staying positive.

"Let's hope. Let's hope. Because that's a good thing. Because there are people who really need it," said Shifflette.

VPAS is looking for more volunteers to help battle some of the loss in funding.

If you would like to help in any way, call 540-568-5253.

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