Government shutdown ends North Carolina WIC benefits

Pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and young children, will be affected by the interruption
October 9, 2013 4:00:42 PM PDT
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services officials said Tuesday that because of the federal government shutdown, they will have to stop issuing benefits under the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Program, also known as WIC.

DHHS said federal WIC funds available to the state will be sufficient to cover WIC vouchers already issued for the month of October, but not sufficient to issue additional vouchers.

WIC clients should keep their nutrition appointments and continue redeeming October vouchers and WIC vendors should continue normal operations to accept existing vouchers.  The Department will continue to monitor the daily availability of federal funds and will announce changes if they become necessary. 

"Some of our most vulnerable citizens, pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and young children, will be affected by the interruption of WIC services due to the federal shutdown," said DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos in a news release. 

DHHS encourages families impacted by this change to apply for North Carolina's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps).  Local WIC staff may also refer clients to food banks and pantries in their communities.

The WIC Program has an annual budget of $205 million and is 100 percent federally funded.  During September, the program provided supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for almost 264,000 women, infants and young children in North Carolina. 

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