Iowan Mothers, Children Affected By Shutdown - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Iowan Mothers, Children Affected By Shutdown

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By: Claire Powell


Mothers and children in Iowa are being impacted by the government shutdown.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC, is feeling the effects of the government shutdown. The program only has enough funds to remain open until October 10th, 2013.

The program can no longer issue food benefit checks meaning those women have to find another way to feed their families. Women who were issued the vouchers before the shutdown, can use them, but those who hadn't got them, are out of luck.

"That's paid for, we want everyone to go shopping, the grocery store to take checks, we have money for that, but we are unable to give any new checks at this point," said Jill Lange, State Director for Iowa's WIC program.

If there aren't any new checks, that means there aren't any diapers, baby formula or supplies for infants and children. This is causing pressure on local food pantries who say they don't have enough supplies to provide support for how many extra women may turn to them.

"Those are things that we really need, if anybody could donate those that would be really wonderful. We always try to keep diapers, wipes, and sometimes we have formula, sometimes we don't, and that's going to be the big one," said Fern Klemm, Social Services Director for St. Vincent's de Paul.

The Des Moines Area Religious Council, DMARC that provides to 13 pantries in the metro, said they have no baby formula available in their warehouse. They will have to rely strictly on donations from now on, unless the store decides to buy formula in the future.

This shortage is leaving women reliant on WIC worried and trying to gather as much food as possible.

"I want to try and get as much as I can to provide for me and my family. I think it's going to have a lot of people reaching out for some extra resources. You know, the kids aren't going to get their apples, oranges and different things that they need," said DeAnna Rankins, of Des Moines.

"We're reaching out to food pantries, just asking for a little bit of help, we're hopeful that this doesn't last much longer," said Lange.

The director said families will most likely start buying formula with their own money, causing a greater reliance on the food in local food pantries.   


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