SEATTLE -- Washington's Women, Infants, and Children food and nutrition program has received funding to continue services through October despite the federal government shutdown. Federal funding was stalled on Oct. 1, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reallocated funding to cover program costs for the rest of the month.
On day one of the shutdown the Washington Department of Health reported WIC only had enough remaining funds to operate the program statewide until Oct. 9. Now, benefits should be covered until Nov. 1.
If the federal government shutdown continues through this month, USDA will not have funding to re-allocate for services in November, and Washington WIC may have to cease operations. State health officials are working on a contingency plan in case the shutdown does not end by Nov.1.
"WIC helps low-income families feed their children," said Janet Jackson Charles, director of Nutrition Services at the Washington State Department of Health. "We hope a budget will be passed and this important program can continue beyond October 31."
WIC provides formula, checks for healthy foods, nutrition education and breastfeeding support to 195,000 mothers and children in Washington.
WIC clients can find more information on the Washington Department of Health website.