WIC program up and running with gov't re-opening - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

WIC program up and running with gov't re-opening

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After 16 days of hardship for hundreds of families, the program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is open again. Its participants will now be able to receive their checks.

It was forced to stop helping those who receive its assistance due to the government shutdown. For the first few days of October, its funds were completely frozen. Then, it was able to issue people just one month's worth of checks as opposed to three months' worth, as it usually does.

The Waterloo WIC office is located at Operation Threshold. Executive Director Barb Grant said it was a significant hurdle since people are used to getting three months worth of assistance.

"The value of the checks ranges anywhere from 50 dollars to 150 dollars depending upon the food package and who the participant is, whether it's an infant with formula or a breast-feeding mom," Grant said.

WIC serves six counties and issues roughly 3.5 million dollars a year in checks.

And unfortunately, if Congress decides to shut down again, Grant said WIC has no way of avoiding delayed checks again. Since the program depends on federal funding, it's essentially at the mercy of the federal government.  

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