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Shutdown jeopardizes nutrition program for poor

October 3, 2013 • National News


In a Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 photo, Carlos Rodriguez kisses his 2-year-old daughter Diana, who relies on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children(WIC) while waiting for his wife outside a WIC office, in Los Angeles. WIC aid is now in jeopardy because of the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Jacob Quick is a fat and happy 4-month-old with a big and expensive appetite. His mother, like millions of other poor women, relies on the federal Women, Infants and Children program to pay for infant formula — aid that is now jeopardized by the government shutdown.

Pennsylvania and other states say they can operate WIC at least through the end of October, easing fears among officials that it would run out of money within days. But advocates and others worry what will happen if the shutdown drags on beyond that.

“What’s going to happen to my baby?” asked Jacob’s mother, Cierra Schoeneberger, as she fed him a bottle of formula bought with her WIC voucher. “Am I going to have to feed him regular milk, or am I going to have to scrounge up the little bit of change I do have for formula or even baby food?”

WIC serves nearly 9 million mothers and young children, providing what advocates say is vital nutrition that poor families might otherwise be unable to afford.

Schoeneberger, for example, said her Login to read more

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