WASHINGTON Head Start programs cut staff members and students. Meals on Wheels, a federal program that delivers meals to the homebound elderly, scaled back in some communities. Federal public defenders, already strapped for funding, cut an additional 11 percent out of their budgets and are preparing for more cuts this fall.
Its been six months since the federal government imposed $85 billion worth of mandatory budget cuts, and among those who have felt the impact most acutely have been the poorest Americans.
Did the sequester disproportionately hurt the poor? said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks. You bet it did.
Among the cuts Ohio social-service agencies have faced:
The Ohio Department of Health saw reductions to programs including WIC food and newborn-hearing programs. The department has absorbed the impact for those cuts and many others to date.
Federal unemployment benefits in Ohio have been reduced by 16 percent, an average of about $50 per week.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 2,782 Ohio preschoolers have been cut from Head Start, a portion of the 57,265 expected to be cut nationwide.
In some ways, the impact has been less sweeping than originally predicted.
Stephen Fuller, an economist at George Mason University, originally predicted that the cuts would cost 2.14 million jobs nationally within the first year.