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5:53 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

WIC remains open despite government shutdown

Photo by Martin Cathrae via Flickr.

The Missouri Women, Infants and Children Program, or WIC, remains open despite government shutdown.

WIC is a nutrition program providing nutrition information and checks redeemable for supplemental food at no cost to low-income families that qualify for the program. Some of the main primary services provided are health screening, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and referrals to health care. It’s one of the programs not affected yet by the federal shutdown. Columbia/Boone County WIC Supervisor Erin Harris said “we can continue operations at full capacity through the end of October”. She also said that “funding came from money that wasn’t spend last year, and some of it was due to contingency planning, so that there were able to keep that money in case of an event like this.”

But Chief Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Ryan Hobart said the program would be affected if the federal shutdown continues. He said that “if it would go a number of weeks, the Missouri WIC Program might not be able to continue providing these services at the same level”.

Hobart also said that more than 144,000 people use the Missouri WIC program every month, including 2,600 in Boone County according to Erin Harris. WIC participants are selected according to income and the nutritional risk of the participants and their families.