Shutdown impact: Local WIC program has six weeks of money left


    It’s not a crisis yet; but Salt Lake County’s Women, Infants and Children program is slated to run out of money at the end of February. (Photo: KUTV FILE)

    It’s not a crisis yet; but Salt Lake County’s Women, Infants and Children program is slated to run out of money at the end of February, if the federal partial government shutdown drags on that long.

    “We usually get supplement foods,“ said Ashley Terry, mother of a three-year-old daughter named Hope. “Beans, peanut butter, milk, juice, cheese, eggs.“

    WIC said it gives more than $800,000 a month in food assistance vouchers to thousands of low income pregnant women, mothers and their young children in Salt Lake County. Recipients are often nutritionally-deficient, and much of the help is formula for babies, including costly, specially prescribed versions.

    Friday, new Congressman Ben McAdams, D-Utah, toured the WIC nutrition clinic, operated by the Salt Lake County Health Department, which is just several miles from his old County Mayor’s Office.

    Friday, new Congressman Ben McAdams, D-Utah, toured the WIC nutrition clinic, operated by the Salt Lake County Health Department, which is just several miles from his old County Mayor’s Office. (Photo: KUTV FILE)

    McAdams said the shutdown has delayed his purchase of a place to live in Washington, DC, but the inconvenience would pale in comparison to what WIC mothers could be facing in the future.

    “We currently serve in Salt Lake County 16,160 clients, and those are women and children up to age 5,“ said Iliana MacDonald, a WIC bureau manager, who stressed the clinic is still open.

    She does not expect doors to close, even if the shutdown goes into March, saying there’s an in-state search for more funding.

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