Low-Income Women, Children Impacted By Government Shutdown

Low-Income Women, Children Impacted By Government Shutdown

The federal government is closed. Day one of the shutdown, and we're already seeing the effects. Not only are government workers feeling the pinch, thousands who depend on government assistance could soon be hurt.

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MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com)-- The federal government is closed. Day one of the shutdown, and we're already seeing the effects. Not only are government workers feeling the pinch, thousands who depend on government assistance could soon be hurt.

The federal WIC program helps women, infants and children. It's funded by the USDA and run out of local health departments.

Those with Shelby County's Health Department promise there have been no changes to services.

Many are skeptical on how long that will be the case.

"I hope they do something about the WIC program cause it's a great need. I need my baby's milk," says Glander Mickens who feeds her 7-month-old son with milk provided by WIC.

"It costs $15 dollars a can. Even if I'm working, what I'm make $7.75, isn't enough to buy my baby's milk."

Mickens is worried the government shutdown could be put a strain on feeding her family.

"I pray to God they do something about it because I don't know what I'm going to do."

WIC helps low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding mothers with children ages five years old or younger.

Shelby County's Health Department released a statement saying, "The federal government shutdown is not currently impacting the WIC program in Shelby County. Services in our clinics will continue as normal until further notice."

But Tennessee Governor Halsam's office has a different outlook.

He predicts the program can only sustain a shutdown through Oct. 10th. Any longer than that, and they say personnel and administrative costs will suffer.

Memphians are worried about what happens to the mothers and their children.

"It's really rough. I hope they get things straightened out though," says Willy Brown.

"I hope they think about the little people," Mickens says. "And they go ahead and push the bill on through. Cause I need my baby's food."

165,000 people receive help from WIC in Tennessee. The recipients are all considered nutritionally and medically at risk.
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