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WIC will Continue to Serve Moms and Babies in Central Florida During Government Shutdown, SNAP is Only Guaranteed Through Next Month

Other federal food assistance programs face the possibility of running out of funding. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons
Other federal food assistance programs face the possibility of running out of funding. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The Florida Department of Health says a nutrition program for mothers and babies will continue through the partial government shutdown. Other federal food assistance programs face the possibility of running out of funding.

The Florida Department of Health says the federally funded Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program will continue providing fresh fruits and vegetables, breastfeeding resources and wellness visits for eligible Florida mothers and babies through the shutdown. But Second Harvest’s Kelly Quintero says if the Agriculture Department’s budget isn’t approved in the next month, programs that feed seniors in the state could be forced to make cuts.

“If it’s anything longer and past January that’s when we’ll start seeing some real issues with programs like Meals on Wheels and even senior congregate feeding programs. That’s going to be a huge issue and we're going to have to take a look to see how we can work together as an organization to make sure people have food.”

Quintero says that includes the SNAP program that provides food stamps to eligible families.

“In Central Florida, we have about 765,000 individuals who use SNAP to put food back on their tables, so if this shutdown continues anywhere past January, food banks like ours are definitely going to see an increase in need from our community.”

The Agriculture Department says SNAP is funded through January, while free and reduced lunches will continue through February or as long as backup funds last. The partial federal shutdown began after a lapse in funding for departments and agencies that make up about 25 percent of the government.
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Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar, writing fiction, and cooking.