May 22, 2018
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Eastern Area Agency on Aging cuts Monday church meal because of federal budget cuts

By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The Eastern Area Agency on Aging is discontinuing its Monday meal service at All Souls Congregational Church because of funding cuts resulting from federal sequestration.

The agency announced last week that it would be shutting down on Fridays, reducing staff hours, beginning in April to cut costs as a result of the across-the-board cuts that were passed down in March.

Noelle Merrill, executive director of the agency, said last week that she hoped the agency’s food services for seniors and the disabled would be affected as little as possible by the cuts.

The lightly attended Monday meals at the church will be cut after an extensive review of the agency’s budget, according to Rob Crone, director of nutrition and auxiliary services.

“This has been an extremely hard decision, but the cost of payroll for this day outweighs the benefit to the small number of people who participate on Mondays,” Crone said.

“It is my sincere hope that the folks in Washington can come to terms, and we can avoid this downsizing, but it looks unlikely at this time,” Crone said. “Perhaps as other funding sources are identified, we can re-establish service on Monday.”

The agency serves about 3,500 elderly and disabled clients through its food programs, which provide 170,000 meals per year across Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties.

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