Yesterday, we ran through many of the local programs that will lose funding thanks to Gov. Rick Scott's record breaking $615 million in vetoes to the state budget. About $40 million of those were cuts to local programs, and one of the most controversial was vetoing $430,298 meant for the hot meals program at the Allapattah Community Center. The service provides food to poor seniors in the Allapattah and Little Havana areas, and was depending on the money to continue services. Local leaders haven't held back their criticism of Scott for eliminating its funding.
"Eliminating funding for these programs is literally taking food from the mouths of our senior citizens," Mayor Tomas Regalado told The Miami Herald.
"This doesn't just take away food from the elderly, but it hurts a lot of businesses that provide to these programs," Commissioner Wifredo "Willy" Gort said this morning on Spanish radio according to Naked Politics. "We have to work 24 hours a day to see how we can substitute that missing money...A lot of these people only have one meal a day, which they receive at the senior center."
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The money for the center was put in the Senate version of the budget by Republican Senator Joe Negron of Stuart at the urging of the area's Republican Senator Republican Miguel Diaz de la Portilla. Diaz de la Portilla says he was not notified by Scott that the funding would be vetoed.
The program has lost other sources of funding as the economy tanked, while the number of seniors seeking meals increased.