Low-income mothers, pregnant women, babies and young children who rely on government assistance to purchase food could see their help cut off now that the government is shut down.
Nearly 9 million mothers and children receive benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The federal program gives grants to states for supplemental food, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and to infants and children up to age five who are nutritionally at risk. The program serves 53 percent of all infants born in the U.S.
Since the government partially shut down at Midnight on Oct. 1, however, its funding has dried out. The Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the program, noted in a memo last week without congressional approval of new spending, there won’t be any funding available for WIC’s clinical services, food benefits or administrative costs.