On Tuesday, I reported that the state's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) would stop funding things like baby food, fruits and vegetables and milk and protein vouchers for over 195,000 women, infants, and children on October 9, thanks to the federal government shutdown.
But! Good news! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has apparently reallocated funding to cover WIC's costs for the entire month of October.
WIC provides nutrition assistance and health referrals, along with breastfeeding support to pregnant women and their children up to age five, whose family income is at or below 185 percent poverty level. The state Department of Health contracts with local health organizations and tribes to provide WIC services in all 39 counties in Washington. The program also authorizes certain grocery stores to accept WIC vouchers for the purchase of approved healthy foods.
That said, if the shutdown continues through this month, women and children are shit out o' luck come November.
“WIC helps low-income families feed their children. We hope a budget will be passed and this important program can continue beyond October 31,” said Janet Jackson Charles, director of Nutrition Services at the Washington State Department of Health, in a press release today.