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(Toledo News Now) -
vital program that will be impacted locally by the government shutdown is WIC.
is the federally-funded nutrition program for low-income women, infants and
children. The program is no longer receiving federal money, but they're doing
all they can to keep families fed.
Health Department wasn't prepared for this shutdown, because the last time
something like this happened was 1995, but the state has provided funding in
the amount of $5.4 million. That's expected to cover state operations and local
agency funding into early November.
this shutdown, this is a big impact," said Larry Vasko, deputy health
commissioner of the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department. "There's a lot of
people being served by WIC, and it looks like it's going to affect them all."
says WIC is vital to those in need.
a program that's been in place for 40 years," he said. "Its track record is
very good. It really targets people who need the support."
says a government shutdown is the last thing they needed. In the past year, the
program was hit with a 10-percent reduction, which affected staffing in their breastfeeding
program. They made it through that, and now the state is helping them with this
most recent hit.
State of Ohio has put together their resources, and they've come up with a
little over $5 million that they will run the state program with through the
early part of November," Vasko said.
if the shutdown continues after that time period, the program will cease to
percent of our agency budgets come through as federal grants, so there is a
whole lot more than the WIC program that will be put to bed if that happens,"
he said. "So now is the time to panic."
says he's unsure about the next step that needs to be taken if the shutdown
goes past the beginning of November, but he's encouraging people to call state
leaders, to encourage them to call Washington.