Gov't Shutdown Could Bring Major Cuts to WIC Program

As the government shutdown remained in place Thursday, it threatened the Women, Children, and Infants program - or 'WIC' - leaving area food banks feeling added pressure.

At places like the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, the need may soon be even greater.

The federally-funded WIC program, which provides certain foods and formula to women and children, is facing a crisis. The Tulsa Health Department says, if the shutdown remains in effect, WIC will cease operations, effective November 1.

The program currently has enough funding to last through October, but uncertainty surrounds the program, beyond the month.

With around 14,500 WIC participants in Tulsa County, alone, cuts to the program could mean major impacts on the mothers and children depending on the program.

Kaitlin Snider with the Tulsa Health Department said, all eyes are on Washington, as that November 1 deadline approaches. "I think there's just a lot of uncertainty, as far as what the impact is going to be. Obviously, we're watching things, daily. WIC administration is monitoring the situation closely, just to determine what the best course of action will be," Snider said.

Snider added that WIC may be forced to provide to its participants on a 'priority basis', if the government shutdown continues.