Shutdown Means Local WIC Funds Threatened By Late October
By Jeff Bossert
Champaign County’s administrator for the food program assisting low-income women and their children says the federal government shutdown will hurt clients if it runs into late October.
Brandon Meline is Director of Maternal and Child Health with the Champaign-Urbana’s Public Health District, and locally oversees WIC, or the Women, Infants, and Children supplemental food program.
He said people could start being turned away if the shutdown goes past the debt ceiling deadline of Oct. 17.
“We’re obviously wary of any shutdown in services once you use clients in a volunteer program like this," he said. "I think that the trust that the programs and benefits are going to be there takes a hit, and trying to get them back on the programs and enrolled, a program especially such as WIC that has proven to be a cost savings program.”
More than 1,100 new mothers and infants in Champaign County rely on WIC.
When compared to other states, Meline said Illinois is likely in the ‘middle of the road’ based on how much funding is still left for the program as the government shutdown continues. He said that amount usually depends on a state’s caseload.