For those who might be applauding the slimming effects of the federal government shutdown, some harsh reality: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is temporarily halting benefits for a program that helps low-income pregnant women and new moms buy healthy food if their families are facing "nutrition risk."
From DHHS this afternoon:
Due to the federal shutdown, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as the WIC program, will discontinue issuing benefits at close of business on . Approximately 80 percent of eligible clients already have been issued food benefits for the month of October. DHHS has determined that federal WIC funds available to the state will be sufficient to cover WIC vouchers already issued for the month of October, but not sufficient to issue additional vouchers.DHHS, in a letter today, also is telling some providers that it is issuing a Stop Work order on their contracts - meaning there are no funds to pay them, due to the shutdown.
WIC clients should keep their nutrition appointments and continue redeeming October vouchers and WIC vendors should continue normal operations to accept existing vouchers. The Department will continue to monitor the daily availability of federal funds and will announce changes if they become necessary.
"Some of our most vulnerable citizens, pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and young children, will be affected by the interruption of WIC services due to the federal shutdown," said DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos.
Meanwhile, moments ago, U.S. House Speaker called President Barack Obama's proposal of a short-term "clean resolution" to get the government funded again "unconditional surrender" for Republicans.
Peter St. Onge