W.I.C. & Other Social Services Still On the Edge After Shutdown Ends
SIOUX CITY, IA —
A program that helps women in need feed their children has been facing uncertain future because of the shutdown.
The Women Infant and Children's Program, better known as W.I.C, has seen its ups and downs these past 16 days.
Once the shutdown happened, for two days moms and their kids went without checks for their basic necessities.
Now things may be looking up, but these solutions passed Wednesday night are only temporary.
But as Washington plays the game of politics within the next few months, SNAP, WIC and other social service programs could still be in limbo.
And while most of Congress will continue to receive their paychecks, those in need soon may not.
"Perhaps they should have been here the first couple days when we couldn't give out check and there were tears from the mothers because they didn't know how they were going to purchase their infant's baby formula... or the happiness that was expressed on day 3, October 3rd, when could finally give out those checks," Sharon Schroeder, RDLN, the nutrition director at Siouxland District Health.
Serious concerns have risen among advocates that these types of programs could soon be eliminated altogether and the effects in Siouxland will be more widespread than imaginable.
"Over 6,600 clients were-received services through this WIC office alone in Woodbury County. That is approximately 70 percent of all the pregnant women in our county and well over two thirds of all the infants in our county," said Schroeder.
Those moms have been able to feed their children with the temporary funds provided by the USDA, but all that could change for better or for worse during future negotiations.
Regardless of Congress' decision Wednesday, mothers and children could still be in jeopardy. Lawmakers will have to re-battle the funding issues by January 15th, if not, Siouxland, like all Americans, will face another government shutdown, which means no social services, no checks, no food, and no formula, something these local mothers can't afford.
No matter what happens in the next few months, moms should continue to keep their appointments and meet with their WIC representatives in order to qualify and receive benefits.BEdme@siouxlandnews.com