WIC recipients worried about government shutdown

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - 10 days and counting into the government shutdown and it has caused some major headaches, especially for some local participants of the WIC program.  WIC helps women, infants and children pay for things like food and baby formula.

The shutdown in Washington has stopped funding for the program. They have been trying to make due with existing money. But a memo Wednesday says the program will have enough funding until the end of the month to run. And now there is another problem - participants of WIC are having trouble with major food retail stores.

"I went to the Wal-Mart on Siegen Lane, brought my voucher in and they would not cash it, that was due to the government shutdown," said Kenyatta Breux who is a WIC participant.

CEO of South East Community Health Center Selina Senegal runs one of the local programs and says she has been receiving several complaints from her participants about stores not honoring the vouchers.

"I believe it's because the stores are in fear that they will not get reimbursed for the cost of providing that formula for the patient, "said Senegal.

Stores not honoring vouchers leave WIC participants like Breux at loss for words and wondering what to do next.

"It's a lot of people that's going to go without services.  You are going to have a lot of people that happen to come out of pocket, that won't be able to make ends meet for themselves and their families, "said Breux.

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