National WIC Association

October 7, 2013

WIC Programs Remain Open Despite Government Shutdown

Released October 3, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 2013 -- Despite the government shutdown that ceased funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) earlier this week and put nearly 9 million vulnerable mothers and young children at risk of losing critical nutrition and healthcare services, WIC Programs have found their footing with the help of temporary operating funds to keep WIC open through October 31st.

State WIC Directors’ effective management of food costs in fiscal year 2013 has provided WIC some cushion to continue operations despite the federal government shutdown. Combined with the release yesterday of $125 million in contingency funds by the United States Department of Agriculture /Food and Nutrition Service (USDA/FNS), State WIC Agencies should be able to keep their WIC clinic doors open through at least the end of the month.

For now, State WIC Programs are operating in an environment of tremendous uncertainty relying on unspent funds from the last fiscal year, limited cost-containment revenue, and the finite amount of contingency funds provided by USDA.

“If Congress fails to pass a ‘clean’ continuing resolution before month’s end, many WIC Programs across the nation will run out of operating funds,” said Rev. Douglas A. Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association. “Clinics will be forced to close their doors, turn participants away, and end benefits. This would be unconscionable.”

The health and well-being of our nation’s families and communities are at stake. Congress needs to pass a ‘clean’ continuing resolution to end the government shutdown and allow WIC to continue to operate.

To take action on your own time, using your own tools (computer), you can use our online email tool to tell House members to pass a 'clean' continuing resolution to end the government shutdown!