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Gov't shutdown raises questions over future of WIC program
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Since the government shutdown there has been a lot of confusion over the future of the WIC program, which provides food assistance to low income mothers and small children.
The Federal Government cut off funding for the program when it shutdown.
With a young daughter and another baby on the way Heather Block depends on the money she receives every month from the WIC program.
"In about three more months, I'm gonna need the formula that it includes and it also includes baby cereal and jars of baby food, I'm gonna need that too," says Block.
In Michigan WIC provides assistance to every one out of two newborns and to nine million women and children nationwide.
And recent talk that the shutdown will stop the program has Block and other mothers concerned and blaming congress.
"They have enough money to support their families and when it comes down to us working minimum wage jobs we need the extra help we can get," says Block.
"It's gonna be hard for families that really do rely on it," says WIC client Leeann Crill.
County health departments have been flooded with calls from concerned moms. In Kalamazoo County, Health and Community Services Director Linda Vail says nothing will change for the foreseeable future.
"We haven't sat down and calculated exactly what that number is yet, mostly because we're not in a hurry up and find out kind of concern we're fairly confident of where we stand right now," says Vail.
Wednesday the state health department said it can likely maintain food and administrative costs for four to five weeks. Kent and Calhoun Counties say they also will be able to go at least that long.