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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Government Shutdown: 9 Million Moms And Babies At Risk As WIC Program Halts

Posted by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 1:50 AM
  • 62 Replies

The government shutdown may be keeping National Parks closed and furloughed federal workers at home, but worse real-world effects could soon be felt by low-income mothers and their infants — already a marginalized group with unstable food supplies.

On Tuesday, the government stopped funding the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC.

Over 8.9 million moms and kids under five living near or below the poverty line rely on the program’s supplemental vouchers for healthy food, breastfeeding support, infant formula and other necessities dispensed at clinics nationwide.

The USDA estimates that most states will be able to continue WIC operations as usual for “a week or so” before running out of money. The department’s Food and Nutrition Service has a contingency fund of only $125 million available for this $7 billion annual appropriation.

So far the situation is most dire in Arkansas and Utah, according to Rev. Douglas Greenaway, who heads up nonprofit advocacy group the National WIC Association. Utah’s WIC program, which already serves 65,000 moms and babies, has now stopped accepting new participants.

....

For Judy Fedie in Wisconsin’s Chippewa Falls office, the phones rang more than usual on Tuesday as shutdown news spread, but it’s business as usual for now. “We know our time is limited, and we’re waiting to hear from the state,” she said.

“I’m worried about a number of things, but top of the list is babies not getting breast milk. In Wisconsin, a can of formula costs $15 and it will maybe last three days. I worry families will be forced to make tough choices about how to feed their babies.”

She added that lactation specialists can be hard to come by in rural parts of the country like her town, which has a population of 60,000. Of those, about 1,250 rely on WIC.

....

The confusion doesn’t end there. Department heads are fielding phone calls from grocery store owners worried they won’t be reimbursed if they continue to accept WIC vouchers.

“There’s probably six billion and change in food dollars spent in the retail grocery community every year,” said Rev. Greenaway. “So there’s a cost to businesses.”


Thoughts?
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 1:50 AM
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Replies (1-10):
pj2becca21
by Bronze Member on Oct. 5, 2013 at 2:10 AM
1 mom liked this

This whole think is Bull shit 

Ninjascreenname
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 2:18 AM
5 moms liked this
I'm freaking out. My husband is a disabled veteran (100%) who gets SSD and VA disability. That's our household income, and we may not have any income over the next however long. I'm FREAKING OUT BAD. I'm also looking for a job but that's pointless because no one is hiring in my area until this hot mess blows over. :'( I never post on here about my income/household situation but this is a source of paranoia for me right now. Headstart in my area closed Friday. Our ROTC program closed. Our area Walmart is only taking wic vouchers until 10/17. How many babies are going to go hungry without wic? I don't give a flying f about how babies are fed, but that they have food to eat. :(
Mommabearbergh
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 2:27 AM
2 moms liked this
That sucks about the lactation consultants because its like if your last resort is breast milk a few moms could buy a manual pump but if they don't even have the help and education just makes it worse I think. Hopefully for those states things are put back in order soon.
muslimah
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 2:34 AM
1 mom liked this

 Can't they buy it with their food stamps?

 Subhan Allah ( سبحان الله )"Glory be to Allah"
 Alhamdulillah ( الحمدللہ )"All Praise to Allah"
 Allahu Akbar ( الله اكبر )"Allah is the Greatest"

Aestas
by Gold Member on Oct. 5, 2013 at 3:04 AM
1 mom liked this

WIC is a different program than SNAP (food stamps). Many people get only WIC and not SNAP.

Quoting muslimah:

 Can't they buy it with their food stamps?


Aestas
by Gold Member on Oct. 5, 2013 at 3:06 AM
9 moms liked this

This is totally inexcusable. Congress should have their paychecks and benefits halted, not infants who rely on WIC for formula.

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 5, 2013 at 3:08 AM

Yes I heard headstart were shutting down as a result. 

I am worried as well as VA disability is my dads primary source of income. This is going to cause me to have to handle a lot of bills if it discontinues.

Quoting Ninjascreenname:

I'm freaking out. My husband is a disabled veteran (100%) who gets SSD and VA disability. That's our household income, and we may not have any income over the next however long. I'm FREAKING OUT BAD. I'm also looking for a job but that's pointless because no one is hiring in my area until this hot mess blows over. :'( I never post on here about my income/household situation but this is a source of paranoia for me right now. Headstart in my area closed Friday. Our ROTC program closed. Our area Walmart is only taking wic vouchers until 10/17. How many babies are going to go hungry without wic? I don't give a flying f about how babies are fed, but that they have food to eat. :(


stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 5, 2013 at 3:10 AM

There was another news story that said that people may not get that as well later this month. It was something my husband saw and I cannot find it now. I hate to think of the results of that.

Quoting muslimah:

 Can't they buy it with their food stamps?


ravenseeyore
by on Oct. 5, 2013 at 3:20 AM
Hopefully this will help reassure you. “Social Security and Supplemental Security Income [SSI] payments to beneficiaries will continue with no change in payment dates,” says a shutdown-related bulletin on the Social Security website. Veterans benefits Health care and pension benefits will continue. As with most federal agencies, some services will be temporarily shut down or slowed down: The Veterans Affairs website will be updated only “intermittently,” the VA says, and vocational and educational counseling for vets will be limited. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1001/How-government-shutdown-affects-benefits-for-seniors-poor-jobless-veterans-video
Quoting Ninjascreenname:

I'm freaking out. My husband is a disabled veteran (100%) who gets SSD and VA disability. That's our household income, and we may not have any income over the next however long. I'm FREAKING OUT BAD. I'm also looking for a job but that's pointless because no one is hiring in my area until this hot mess blows over. :'( I never post on here about my income/household situation but this is a source of paranoia for me right now. Headstart in my area closed Friday. Our ROTC program closed. Our area Walmart is only taking wic vouchers until 10/17. How many babies are going to go hungry without wic? I don't give a flying f about how babies are fed, but that they have food to eat. :(

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 5, 2013 at 3:22 AM

Only as long as the debt ceiling is fixed though. That is the real concern that it will run out after this month if they do not handle it.

Quoting ravenseeyore:

Hopefully this will help reassure you. “Social Security and Supplemental Security Income [SSI] payments to beneficiaries will continue with no change in payment dates,” says a shutdown-related bulletin on the Social Security website. Veterans benefits Health care and pension benefits will continue. As with most federal agencies, some services will be temporarily shut down or slowed down: The Veterans Affairs website will be updated only “intermittently,” the VA says, and vocational and educational counseling for vets will be limited. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1001/How-government-shutdown-affects-benefits-for-seniors-poor-jobless-veterans-video
Quoting Ninjascreenname:

I'm freaking out. My husband is a disabled veteran (100%) who gets SSD and VA disability. That's our household income, and we may not have any income over the next however long. I'm FREAKING OUT BAD. I'm also looking for a job but that's pointless because no one is hiring in my area until this hot mess blows over. :'( I never post on here about my income/household situation but this is a source of paranoia for me right now. Headstart in my area closed Friday. Our ROTC program closed. Our area Walmart is only taking wic vouchers until 10/17. How many babies are going to go hungry without wic? I don't give a flying f about how babies are fed, but that they have food to eat. :(


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