Those who rely on food assistance programs have kept a close eye on the government shutdown.
One in particular is WIC — assistance for women, infants, and children.
WIC is funded by the federal government, and administered by the Missouri’s Health and Senior Services department.
As of right now, Lisa Cox with the MHSS says over 100,000 people who rely on WIC benefits are in the clear for the next month.
“The Missouri WIC program does have sufficient funding to maintain the same level of services they always receive through February of 2019,” says Cox.
She says people will be notified if anything changes for February, although they don’t anticipate that happening. But beyond February, nothing is gauranteed.
“We are really taking it day by day as all the agencies, all the consumers are. We are basically having to wait and see what happens at the Capitol,” says Cox.
Republic resident Destini Davis receives checks for every month through “WIC” for her 4-year-old daughter Eden.
She also has a 6-month-old baby, Nora, who requires a special type of formula due to her allergy to soy and dairy. That formula can get expensive, without the help from WIC
“This is for six cans of formula for the month,” Davis says with a voucher in hand. “Normally that’s going to cost $235.62 just for the six cans of her kind of formula. It will pretty much be my monthly paycheck because I just work part-time, I just teach pre-school. Pretty much my monthly paycheck is just going to be formula. Which is doable, my baby isn’t going to starve, but maybe some other babies will,” Davis says.
Davis’ mother, Janet Mayberry, looks after the kids when mom and dad are at work. Mayberry knows the importance WIC has for her family.
“If WIC quits supplying, we have savings so we’ll be fine, but there’s a lot of families that don’t have any savings. These children are our future, and they need a good start, and WIC provides that in my opinion,” says Mayberry.
Other programs like EBT and SNAP benefits have already received their funding for the month of February. Cards for those services are working, but like WIC, nothing is gauranteed past February as we wait to see what happens with the partial government shutdown.