WIC program to continue through October after gov. shutdown - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

WIC program to continue through October after government shutdown

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JEFFERSON COUNTY - AL -

The shutdown is affecting lots of programs. It could have a huge baring on the future of the Women,  Infants, and Children  - or "WIC" program.

The Department of Health announced the Alabama WIC program will continue to issue benefits through October. Before, participants could apply for three months at a time, but now, past October it's a waiting game. That uncertainty is causing concern for  families who depend on the extra help.

"If we didn't have WIC - we struggle now, but we would really would struggle," Haley Allred, a WIC participant said.

Haley Allred says the benefits of the WIC program, help take care of her son, Bryden.

"It helps out so much," she said. "The formula alone - I get 7-8 cans. All of that total, is $150."

In just Jefferson County alone, 15,000 families need that help.

 "The effects of what we tell individuals as a nutritionist, they take that along in life," Tashema Batch, a Jefferson Co. Health Department Nutritionist said.

"We provide individual counseling so if there is someone who has a nutrition risk, we provide counseling," Batch said.

We searched for a list of participating stores, but the government shutdown - shut down the web site.

Haley says it's a big relief that WIC is extended through October.

"It's comforting to know that my son will have at least one more month with it," Allred said.

...but past this month...

"I honestly don't know," Allred said. "I have a support system that would help me out, but I don't want to have to depend on them when my son depends on me." 

The WIC program works with children up to age five and can be combined with other types of financial assistance. Here is a link for more information: http://www.adph.org/

 

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