WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 01, 2013, 05:55 PM

Shutdown dries up funding for WIC, leaving 23,000 ND in need

With the government shut down, funding has dried up for one of the federal nutrition programs that supports more than 23,000 women and children in North Dakota alone.

By: Cynthia Johnson, WDAZ

With the government shut down, funding has dried up for one of the federal nutrition programs that supports more than 23,000 women and children in North Dakota alone.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, no longer has funding for clinical services, food or administrative costs. More than 1,600 Grand Forks women and children are part of the WIC program. If Congress doesn't act soon, these families will have to go without resources like baby formula, fruits and vegetables.

WIC gives grants to states for supplemental food, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant women and new mothers. North Dakota officials say there is enough funding for the next few days, but there is no long-term plan if the government shutdown doesn't end soon. Concern over the program's future is growing at the WIC office at Grand Forks Air Force base.

"A lot of the enlisted wives are on the WIC program and it's very important and very vital for a lot of us because a lot of us don't have the money to buy really healthy food for our kids," says Selena Mendez.

Other food assistance programs like food stamps and school breakfast and lunch aren't impacted by the shutdown. Once Congress does end the shutdown the USDA expects to get funding to cover the cost of October expenses.

Tags: