By RODNEY D. BOAM
Things are kind of fluid right now with the Federal stand-off shutting down things in Washington. It changes from day to day. At the beginning of last week, the Idaho Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) had only a week’s worth of money to help families that use the service. By the end of last week WIC received contingency funds to carry services throughout the month.
A news release from Idaho Department of Health and Welfare public information officer Niki Forbing-Orr said, “WIC has received contingency and reallocation funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture so it can continue to honor vouchers and offer clinical services through the end of October, Forbing-Orr said. “If the federal shutdown lasts longer than a month, benefits and services for the Idaho WIC program could be temporarily disrupted.”
The Department of Health and Welfare will provide information to program participants if the problems in Washington aren’t resolved.
Idaho has about 43,000 WIC participants. Each receives a monthly voucher for an average of $50. Franklin County has around 570 participants.
Maggie Mann, District Director of Southeast Idaho Public Health, said if the WIC program should stop helping families in Franklin County, it will have more of an impact on the county than most people think.
“There won’t be any money to pay to help our clients, pregnant women and infants under the age of five. It has a very negative impact on them,” Mann said. “It also has a trickle down effect; $725,000 a month goes to local grocery stores.”
This story is sponsored by Hunzeker Ford.
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