US government shutdown: WIC, a program that feeds and provides medical help to 7 million mothers and children, could run out of funds in days – DAVID RAUDALES

DAVID RAUDALES

Businessman, musician / former Full Stack Developer

DAVID RAUDALES UK

US government shutdown: WIC, a program that feeds and provides medical help to 7 million mothers and children, could run out of funds in days

A government shutdown puts the health of millions of children at risk.

andreonegin via Getty Images.

US lawmakers have until midnight on Saturday to avoid a government shutdown. 
It puts programs at risk, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
WIC supports 7 million mothers and children with food and health resources.

The clock is ticking – not only for US lawmakers to avoid a shutdown, but also for millions of Americans who rely on government salaries and programs to stay healthy and fed. 

Lawmakers have until midnight Saturday to keep from shuttering the government as they try to reach a spending agreement, but as usual, their lives aren’t the ones that would be most directly impacted. (After all, they still make their $174,000 annual salary, even during a government shutdown that they cause!)

About 10,000 children will lose the benefits of Head Start programs, which support low-income babies and young children with nutrition and family support, if a shutdown isn’t averted, The New York Times reported. 

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (or WIC), which serves nearly half the infants born in the country, has just a few days of funding in the event of a shutdown, per the Times.

The program serves some 7 million mothers and children, providing nutritional foods and health care referrals to some of the most vulnerable in the country. It serves about half of the infants born in the US, according to the US Food and Nutrition Service

Much of the blame for the shutdown has been placed on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has struggled to get the more extreme members of his party to fall in line and prevent the shutdown

“During an Extreme Republican Shutdown, women and children who count on WIC would soon start being turned away at grocery store counters, with a federal contingency fund drying up after just a few days and many states left with limited WIC funds to operate the program,” read a statement from the White House five days ahead of Saturday’s deadline. 

Ironically, McCarthy’s home state of California serves the highest number of WIC recipients at a total of 972,418, according to White House data. The fates of some 206,282 women, 587,139 children, and 178,997 infants in California rest in McCarthy’s hands. 

Tick tock. 

Read the original article on Business Insider