LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. – The Lincoln County Health Manager announced Tuesday that despite the government shutdown, WIC services will continue, however, the services will be limited.
Effective Wednesday, Oct. 9, all North Carolina WIC offices will stop issuing new food vouchers to new clients.
Current clients will be referred to community resources, such as food banks and pantries. Current clients who are not receiving food stamps or SNAP will be referred to their local Department of Social Services office to determine eligibility.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department says new clients applying for the WIC services will be put on a waiting list.
In Lincoln County, WIC offices will continue to provide eligibility determinations, nutrition education, breastfeeding education and support-- including issuance of breast pumps and breastfeeding supplies, and peer counseling services.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says approximately 80 percent of eligible clients have already been issued food benefits for the month of October. This month’s vouchers for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as the WIC program, can be used as normal.
DHHS says it is working with the federal government to find funding. It has an annual budget of $205 million, all of which are federal dollars. During September, WIC provided supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for almost 264,000 women, infants and young children in North Carolina. DHHS says North Carolinians using WIC make nearly $16.6 million in food purchases at more than 2,000 food vendors around the state.