We have embarrassed ourselves as a nation

OlympiaMarch 11, 2013 

Sequestration: What a terrible word it has become. Thoughtless cuts to programs without regard to human impacts could be one definition. Another might be supreme negligence by persons empowered to preserve and protect our society.

But to me it now means hurting those who least can endure it: persons such as those who receive Meals on Wheels. These clients, all seniors and/or disabled, have been receiving hot meals five days a week, and often frozen meals for weekends. Most are home bound, no longer able to drive or even walk to the nearest store, many without family or friends nearby.

Often the only visitors these elders receive are volunteers who bring their lunches on weekdays. My partner and I have been delivering meals on Fridays for several years to Thurston County residents through this federally funded program.

Starting March 22, Friday deliveries are canceled. Our clients will receive one less visit a week and one fewer hot meal. Instead, they’ll have one more day of frozen food and, and in some cases, of isolation.

All this because we can’t find a way to balance our federal budget and serve our citizens’ without big drama and little action. I am ashamed sequestration has come to this.

We have embarrassed ourselves as a society, shortchanged our community, wounded our most vulnerable citizens and failed to meet our nation’s civic duties. I shudder to think today’s cut could just be the tip of a Titanic-sized iceberg.

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