Despite the government shutdown, Washington’s Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, program has funding to continue service through October. The United States Department of Agriculture reallocated funding to cover the costs for the month.
The program had been set up with only enough remaining funds to operate statewide until Oct. 9.
WIC provides assistance and support to pregnant and breastfeeding women and their children up to age five, whose family income is at or below 185% poverty level.
The state Department of Health provides WIC services in all 39 counties in Washington.
Agency officials now have more time to develop a strategy in the event the shutdown does not end by 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 not have funding to continue. The Department of Health had been working on contingency plans in the event that WIC services had to end in October when reallocation was announced.
“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.