Mothers are constantly concerned about their children’s well-being, but the government, or lack thereof, has given them an especially frightening fear to face — How will they feed their babies?
The recent government shutdown is resulting in cutoff funds for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children , meaning the 9 million women and their children living close to or below the poverty line and relying on the program will potentially be losing their healthy-food vouchers, nutrition education and breastfeeding support, according to the Huffington Post.
Thanks to the lack of a decision by the indecisive, hard-headed government, poor children across the U.S. are soon to go hungry. According to the USDA, states may have some funds to operate “for a week or so” before running out of money. This only leaves mothers in fear of when the last day they can afford food for their children will be.
According to the Hillsborough County Health Department,
WIC is intended to improve the health of those below, on or near the poverty line by providing women and their children with some of the foods needed to keep their bodies healthy and providing nutrition education to help families eat better and save money on food.
WIC foods include necessary nutritional items that provide healthier options. The WIC program encourages poor families to avoid the cheap fast food and buy healthier groceries. Due to the state of funding, it looks like those healthy options will once again be out of reach for families at the poverty level.
WIC also provides very important items to an infant’s health such as formula. Infants can’t exactly eat a Happy Meal when their formula runs out. This has become a huge concern among mothers with babies that can’t breastfeed.
CBS News reported a contingency fund of about $125 million is available to help states continue to provide funds for WIC, but those funds are not enough for the entire month. Should the shutdown last any longer, WIC support will
Sadly enough, WIC is the only federal food assistance program taking a hit from the government’s shutdown. According to CBS, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , or food stamps, is still operating with $2 billion in contingency funding that Congress approved this year.
While it is great that people are at least able to get their food stamps, there are still a number of women and children relying on WIC that might go hungry. Apparently, Congress doesn’t find hungry women and children important enough to provide enough contingency funds for a crisis such as the government
In a way, Congress is being selfish. There are so many congressmen being stubborn that their prolonged decision making process could cause innocent children to starve. That’s not what a government “for the people” should
Ali Leist is a junior majoring in mass communications.