Participants in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program will soon be unable to use their WIC checks if the state budget impasse doesn’t end by July 1.
The WIC program is among many state services at risk of stopping during a temporary government shutdown if the budget deadline isn’t met, but WIC clients could be affected sooner.
Retailers who accept WIC checks when clients buy their prescribed healthy foods are reimbursed by the state. If there is a government shutdown, the state would be unable to reimburse retailers for WIC checks, WIC clinics will close, and WIC stores and farmers market growers will be unable to process WIC checks.
So participants who planned to shop next week are urged to use their WIC checks by this weekend, in case there is a shutdown on Monday.
The impact is significant: About 195,000 low income state residents take part in the WIC Nutrition Program each month. WIC checks provide formula for about 27,000 infants each month.
Every day, about $472,000 worth of WIC checks for healthy WIC-approved foods are processed in our state.
The state Department of Health and WIC partners are working to notify partners and participants; WIC clinics and authorized stores will be asked to help spread the word by posting signs about the situation.