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California COVID-19 Senior Meals Program Could Run Out Of Money

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Sonora, CA – A COVID-19 senior meal delivery plan in conjunction with restaurants and federal funding was just announced days ago by Governor Gavin Newsom, but that funding could be running out.

Government documents show money needed to support it could run out in less than two weeks, according to the Associated Press. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disclosed the funding only runs through May 10th. After that, the state must be granted an extension.

To date, it is unknown how many cities and counties would be delivering meals by the time the funds dry up. At his live address Wednesday, Newsom did not address the possible lack of funds, but called on local governments to act, “The state of California put out the framework and it’s the cities responsibility to engage the restaurants and put out the protocols.”

To keep the federal money flowing, the Newsom administration must give a “detailed justification” for continuing the program. Without an extension, FEMA relays it will only continue to cover costs for an additional 15 days “necessary to end these services in an orderly manner.”

Currently, the program is being reviewed by the state before any decision is made regarding whether to seek an extension. The AP reports one state agency warned there is no guarantee the extension will come through.

As reported earlier, the governor touted the plan for helping not only get meals to the state’s elderly but also support local restaurant workers and owners who have lost business during the pandemic. Also, local governments would get an infusion of cash from sales taxes they collect on the meals. He added that the federal government will cover 75% of the cost while state and local governments will pay for the rest.