Shutdown Could Leave New Moms and Native Americans without Food Benefits


Baby Feet

As the partial government shutdown stretches into day five, new moms across the country may lose benefits they receive through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Due to lack of funding, both the WIC and the Child Nutrition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) staffing will be cut by 95 percent. But while eligible families receiving SNAP will still receive benefits in January, the WIC program will have limited operation based on available resources. This is also true of the Food Distribution Program on Native American Indian Reservations.

Neither program will receive additional funding or commodities during the shutdown. However, according to local WIC officials, moms in New Orleans should not see their benefits affected in the near future. Moms who are currently receiving benefits who have questions about how they might be affected by the shutdown are encouraged to check the Louisiana WIC website for updated information.

As of Wednesday morning, there was no end to the shutdown in sight, with President Trump saying “I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it.”

Many of the nation’s working poor families rely on WIC and SNAP to feed their families throughout the year.

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