Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Federal WIC program not feeling effects of shutdown yet

ST. PETERSBURG — Local officials say a federal program that provides nutrition to children and pregnant mothers won't be immediately affected by the federal government shutdown.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) provides healthy food, nutrition counseling and other services to children under 5 years old, to breastfeeding mothers and to pregnant women. The program's fiscal year began Monday without an approved budget.

"Locally, and with I think all the WIC programs in the state, it's kind of business as usual," said Maggie Hall, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. "They're still giving people checks."

But Hall had few answers Wednesday about where continued funding might be found.

Though a federal program, WIC is administered locally through the state Department of Health. The department's Tallahassee headquarters released only a brief statement stating they would continue to monitor the situation in Washington, D.C.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state agencies will have the authority to use other available funding resources in order to continue to provide benefits to WIC.

In August, the last month for which reliable numbers were available, the program served about 17,000 people in Pinellas County at an estimated cost of $1,166,424, county WIC and Nutrition Management Director Barbara Sarver said.

On Wednesday, officials at the St. Petersburg office said they fielded calls from concerned parents and saw an influx of people who mistakenly believed that if they didn't pick up voucher checks immediately, they wouldn't be able to do so later in the month.

Sarver said some grocery stores have even called to ask if they should still accept the program's vouchers. She said she assures them checks already cut come from state reserves and won't be affected by changes at the federal level.

Claire Wiseman can be reached at (727)-893-8804 or cwiseman@tampabay.com. On Twitter: @clairelwiseman

Federal WIC program not feeling effects of shutdown yet 10/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 6:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New Florida driver's licenses available in Tampa Bay

    State Roundup

    The new Florida IDs are beginning to roll out across the state, with some locations in Tampa Bay already carrying the cards.

    The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles announced it will begin to issue the new Florida driver license and ID card this month in various locations across the state. [Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles]
  2. Come on down, former 'Price Is Right' announcer Rich Fields; you're the new afternoon DJ on Q105

    Blogs

    There's a new afternoon drive host on classic hits radio station WRBQ-FM, better known as "Q105."

  3. From the food editor: Five things I'm enjoying in the food world right now

    Cooking

    Sometimes your notebook is scribbled with little thoughts here and there, things you come across in the food world and want to share but aren't sure how or when. Well, folks, I need to get some of this off my chest. Here is a somewhat random collection of culinary things I am really enjoying right now:

    Espresso Sea Salt Cookie Sandwiches with a cooked buttercream frosting, from St. Petersburg home bakery Wandering Whisk Bakeshop. Photo by Jennifer Jacobs.
  4. In Syria's Raqqa, IS makes last stand at city's stadium

    World

    BEIRUT — U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria captured the city hospital in Raqqa on Tuesday, leaving IS militants holed up at the local stadium, their last stand in the fight over what was once the extremists' de facto capital.

    This frame grab from video released Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 and provided by Furat FM, a Syrian Kurdish activist-run media group, shows Syrian Islamic State group fighters who surrendered entering a base of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in Raqqa, Syria. A spokesman for the SDF in Syria says it will be in control of the northern city of Raqqa "within a few days" after attacking the last pocket held by the Islamic State group. SDF fighters launched an operation to retake the last IS-held pocket of Raqqa after some 275 militants and their family members surrendered. [Furat FM via AP]
  5. Florida education news: Constitution changes, #HB7069, school security and more

    Blogs

    NEW RULES: Once every 20 years, Florida convenes a commission to examine whether the state constitution needs amending. Education — Article IX — can play a pivotal role, and this time around the subject appears to be coming into focus for possible change. Members of the public already have