DHHS takes on new WIC clients through next week as federal funds dwindle

Low-income mothers on WIC can continue to use federally-funded vouchers for food and formula but state health officials warn the program could be scaled back as the federal government shutdown continues.

In North Carolina, the $205 million women, infants and children (WIC) nutritional program is funded entirely through federal money, and serves an estimate 264,000 pregnant or breast-feeding women and their children with breast-feeding support, formula and vouchers for healthy food.

The program is also a big deal for grocery merchants, with more than $16.6 million in WIC vouchers spent each month in grocery stores around the state.

Nationally, the WIC program serves 8.9 million women and children, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates most states can keep the program running for a week before depleting funds, according to Forbes. Utah has already stopped its program.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement Thursday saying  it would continue to take on new clients through next Tuesday, and longer if there was enough funding. DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, in a written statement, encouraged mothers to continue using their vouchers and going to scheduled appointments.

“Our biggest concern is protecting the health and well-being of our citizens and minimizing disruptions to vital services caused by the federal shutdown to the extent possible,” Wos said. “DHHS will maintain the WIC program as long as existing federal funds will allow.”

8 Comments

  1. love my state

    October 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    your concern for protecting the health and well-being of our citizens is a little too late secretary wos.

  2. LayintheSmakDown

    October 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Uh oh! You need to call Kay Kay and ask her to actually act like a statesman and get the ball rolling on negotiating with the Republicans.

  3. ML

    October 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    LSD needs to know Hagen and Obama aren’t the ones in the federal government but just bc you hate them doesn’t mean it’s their responsibility. Other federal agencies work with the state agencies to coordinate the funding. But thanks for you typical nonsensical post. Troll ya later bud.

  4. ML

    October 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Aren’t the only* ones…

  5. Alan

    October 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    LSD,

    Yet another unhinged bat-**** crazy comment of no relevance to the article.

  6. GOP Rules

    October 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Alan = Another paid commentator from NC Justice center.

    The analogy is quite relevant, did you not see the entirely funded with federal money part? Kay is part of the pompous unhinged Democrat ruling class who feel they are too good to actually negotiate.

  7. david esmay

    October 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Alan, the coserveautistic trolls here suck so bad they have to pretend to be two people.

  8. Alan

    October 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    David,

    Agreed. But I think you give him the benefit of the doubt by pretending. There’s enough going on between those ears to keep a psychiatric convention going for a month.