WIC program gets federal shutdown reprieve for October

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Washington’s Women, Infants and Children’s nutrition program has funding to operate through October, despite a federal government shutdown, state health officials said today.

WIC had only enough money to operate the program statewide until Wednesday when the U.S. Department of Agriculture reallocated money to cover the costs for the remainder of month.

The program provides nutrition assistance, health referrals and breast-feeding support to pregnant and nursing women and their children up to age 5 in low-income families. WIC also authorizes certain grocery stores to accept vouchers to buy approved healthful foods, according to a news release.

If the federal government shutdown continues through this month, USDA will not have funding to reallocate for services in November, and Washington WIC may not have funding to continue operations, officials said.

The temporary reprieve allows more time to develop a strategy in the event the shutdown does not end by Nov. 1, health department officials added. For more information call 800-841-1410.

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