The federal WIC program which helps provide healthy food for about 66,000 Iowans is among the programs affected by the government shut down.
“If I didn’t have WIC we would have been in a lot of trouble.” says Ashley Wessel of Des Moines, “There was no way we would have been able to afford all the formula that we needed.”
Wessel says if she didn’t have WIC, she would have been forced to go hungry just so she could feed her family.
The WIC program, which provides healthy foods like baby formula, milk, fruits and vegetables for women, infants and children, is on the list of federal programs to be chopped.
The state has enough money in it’s coffers to cover WIC checks that have already been cut but no more checks will be issued until the government shutdown ends.
“In WIC what we do is issue three months of benefits so if you came in August we would issue you August, September and October.” explains State WIC Director Jill Lange, “Or if you were here in September you’ll get September October, November. All of those checks can be paid for.”
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or “SNAP”, formerly known as food stamps, will not be impacted. Families are urged to go to food pantry’s or churches if they need additional food assistance.
The shutdown will also force most federal offices to close. All national parks and monuments will not open Tuesday and passport applications will go unprocessed.
Critical government functions will stay open – from national and border security to maintenance of the power grid.
All federal banking operations will also continue.
Social security checks were paid during the last shut down in 1995 and are expected to be paid again.