Hey, good morning to all of you nine million women and children out there who receive WIC benefits, and for those of you who were planning on signing up for the supplemental nutrition program. For those moms out there who wanted to be able to get your babies cereal and formula and juice, I’m real sorry about this whole government shutdown thingy because you are some of the people who will be hit the hardest. Actually, not only am I sorry, but I’m pretty pissed off so excuse me while I take a break for a moment just to wish our Republican pals a good morning too:
Now that that’s pit of the way, here’s what’s going to happen. Those of you who have WIC vouchers or who are already signed up for the program, you can still use your vouchers until your state runs out of money for the WIC program. This all depends on WHICH state you reside in, so I cannot give you a definite time frame for when that will be. According to CBS News:
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.
“States may have some funds available from infant formula rebates or other sources, including spend forward authority, to continue operations for a week or so, but States would likely be unable to sustain operations for a longer period,” the memo said. “Contingency funds will be available to help States – but even this funding would not fully mitigate a shortfall for the entire month of October.”
Different news sources are claiming that the average time frame will be two weeks. So, the money for this program, this incredibly important program that serves 53 percent of ALL infants born in the US, will probably run out of money. I relied on WIC to help me support my first child. I’m pretty sure that if you didn’t receive WIC or you don’t currently receive WIC, you probably know a mom who does. The Women, Infants And Children program allows participants to go to their local store and receive things like milk, peanut butter, formula, juice, fruits and vegetables, eggs, cheese and cereal using vouchers for women who meet the income guidelines to qualify. Considering about nine million women rely on this program to help feed their kids, there will be a lot of children who won’t get breakfast in the morning, a lot of formula fed babies who will go hungry. This, to me, is disgusting. It’s beyond infuriating.
I know the economy sucks and so many people out there are doing what they can to get by and that it’s not like any of us have piles of money lying around but I am asking you all to , if you can, buy some baby formula to drop off at your local food bank. Leave grocery gift cards, whatever you can afford, at your local store with the instruction it be given to a mom who has her WIC voucher denied. Pay attention when you are shopping and if you see this happen to a mom, try and step in if you can and buy her milk or eggs or juice. Ask your friends and family if they know a woman who is on WIC and see what you can do to help.
The idea of any baby going without formula or any kid not being able to eat breakfast because of the shutdown is beyond awful to me. Let’s try and help where we can, and for those of you moms out there who will be affected by this let us know the best ways to help you. No one has any idea how long the shutdown will last, but even a day without a baby being able to have formula or a kid not being able to have a bowl of cereal is far too long.
(Image: National WIC Association)