Marble Falls, Burnet, Kingsland, Llano, Spicewood, Horseshoe Bay, and ALL of the Highland Lakes
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BERTRAM — A vital service to homebound seniors in Bertram faces an uncertain future as a cut in federal funds has put an expiration date on the city’s Meals on Wheels route.
A letter from Williamson-Burnet County Opportunities to Bertram Mayor Dickie Allen said service to outlying areas would stop because of “federal funding cuts and increasing food costs.”
Bertram’s meals also will be cut, according to the letter, because of its distance from the Burnet preparation site.
“We have cut staffing and are looking for other ways to cut our costs but have reached the point where we now have to cut meals,” the letter read from WBCO director of Meals on Wheels Paula Goodson.
Thirteen people are served on the Bertram route. Meals were scheduled to stop being delivered to the city June 19. Sara Reily, Burnet County coordinator for Meals on Wheels, said a recent donation will keep those meals going to Bertram recipients for a few weeks.
“Someone gave a donation to allow us to deliver for five more weeks,” Reily said. “It’s kind of a (bandage.) We’re hoping it will buy us time to come up with a real long-term solution.”
For Allen, volunteers are doing what they can to find a solution to the potential loss of money for Meals on Wheels in Bertram.
“We’ve contacted our state representative, and, hopefully, they’re working on it,” he said. “We’re trying to get people to donate money so we can keep it going. We feel, if it shuts down, it’ll be harder to start back up.”
According to Williamson-Burnet County Opportunities, the 13 Bertram clients receive about 260 meals a year at a cost of about $6.50 per meal.
Reily said Meals on Wheels in Burnet is already serving more people than it has in its budget.
“We were overserving what they were paying us in the first place,” Reily said. “And we were making it up in private donations.”