The Sampson County Health Department received word Friday from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program can offer its services once again, effective Oct. 11 despite the continued government shutdown.
“It’s effective today,” said Kathie Johnson, a nurse at the local Health Department, on Friday. “DHHS was able to identify funding that would allow the WIC program to resume its normal operations.”
A recent press release, issued Friday by DHHS, reported that the department “has secured additional funds to continue the WIC program” and has “determined it can ensure the stability of the program through the end of October using lapsing funds from the previous fiscal year, additional contingency funds from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and product rebates from WIC formula manufacturer, Nestle Foods.”
“By securing sufficient funds, we are able to continue supporting the women and children who depend on WIC,” said DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos in the release. “Our state is one of the highest volume states for the WIC program so we take the impact of the shutdown very seriously.”
“Because of the uncertainty of the federal shutdown, we know this may only be a temporary solution,” continued Wos. “But we are committed to meeting the needs of the people of North Carolina.”
With funding now identified, Sampson’s WIC program has been given the green light to once again issue vouchers through the end of the month to its more than 2,000 participants as well as to enroll new clients.
“We are discontinuing our waiting list and are calling those who were on it,” said Johnson. “If anyone has questions, they should contact the Health Department at 910-592-1131, option 2.”
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.