(The following is a press release from the Mississippi State Department of Health.)
The Mississippi State Department of Health’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will remain open through the month of January even without congressional action on the current government shutdown.
Working with federal partners at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - the agency funding the WIC program - the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has been granted enough funds in the federal fiscal year 2019 to continue operations.
Without these funds, the WIC program would have to terminate services to more than 95,000 clients each month due to the shutdown.
"With this allowance by the USDA, we can ensure WIC operations without disruptions through at least the end of January, if not even an additional few weeks in February," said MSDH State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. "This gives us a little breathing room."
Dobbs said the agency will continue to monitor, assess and make plans for possible further delays in funding in order to continue services for Mississippi mothers and babies and protect the jobs of MSDH employees.
The WIC Program is a supplemental nutrition program for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, infants and children under five years of age. The Mississippi WIC Program operates and maintains 95 distribution sites serving clients statewide.