WIC participants may feel effects from government shutdown

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 3:57pm

The government shutdown continues, leaving citizens, especially single mothers, with not only questions but some worry as well. Many mothers who used WIC benefits are now looking for new ways to support their children.

WIC, or the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, has been cut from federal funding for now, so here in Louisiana, some families will be feeling the effect.

"I don’t know what we're going to do, I really don’t know what we're going to do,” said mother and grandmother, Bobby Mack.

Bobby Mack uses WIC support daily to buy the essentials to keep her granddaughter healthy.

“It helps a lot with the prices of milk and formula for the baby,” noted Mack. “It’s just too expensive because money is very slow and I am on a fixed income so that helps a whole lot”.

Now she’s scared what will happen when her help comes to a halt.

"Mostly the children," she said. "It’s hurting the children because they need that. They need this program."

The federally funded program helps thousands in the State of Louisiana. With a lapse in federal funding,  the state is stepping in. DHH said in response to the recent government shutdown:

“Current WIC participants who have an October appointment will only be issued a voucher valid for the month of October; benefits may only be used through October 15. WIC participants who were issued October vouchers before October may also only use their voucher through October 15. WIC offices are currently open and, as of now, no employees are furloughed. No new WIC participants will be added as a result of the lapse in federal funding.”

Mack will have to find new ways to keep her granddaughter fed and dry.

“I will go to the Salvation Army sometimes they have pampers and stuff like that. Sometimes they have milk formula to give the babies and stuff like that," said Mack.

That's until the government comes to a consensus and the shutdown ends.

"I feel bad about the whole situation really."

If the government does not come to a consensus by the 15th, the funding could stop for all WIC participants in the state.

Of course, anything could change as each day passes.

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