(WBIR) Will WIC continue through the shutdown?
That's a question many people across East Tennessee are asking this morning. This is what we know so far:
As of right now, the Tennessee Department of Health says they will use money they have to continue funding the WIC program. Sevier County and Knox County department directors confirm it's 'business as usual,' so far.
That means vouchers will continue to be issued, and will continue to be valid for the time being.
'WIC' stands for Women, Infants, and Children. It's a program that supplies vouchers for nutritious food and nutritional education to eligible pregnant women and new mothers. Across our region, 20,000 women are enrolled in any given month.
The federal government is not providing money to pay the administrative costs of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. However, the federal program is administered by state employees, through local health departments and those employees will continue to working through the shutdown.
However, their office will not be receiving any more funding for the time being so officials are encouraging WIC clients to call their local health department next week about possible program changes if the federal government shutdown continues.