Pennsylvania WIC offices open despite shutdown
Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 8:15 pm | Updated: 8:33 pm, Thu Oct 3, 2013.
Pennsylvania Department of Health officials are reminding residents that Women, Infants and Children (WIC) offices throughout the state are open and providing services despite the federal government shutdown.
The Pennsylvania WIC program is expected to be able to continue normal operations “for a few weeks” because of funds that were carried forward from the previous year and additional food funds, including rebates, department Secretary Michael Wolf said in a news release.
Wolf said the department is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Gov. Tom Corbett’s office to develop a plan to avoid major service disruptions in the event of a long-term federal government shutdown.
As part of the long-term planning process, local WIC agencies were asked to submit an outline to the department that details steps to minimize administrative spending and ways to ensure minimal reductions to participant food benefits should the shutdown continue. The department will then coordinate plans and submit them for review to the USDA.
The Pennsylvania WIC program provides services including nutrition services, breastfeeding support, health care and social service referrals, and healthy foods, to about 250,000 recipients per month. The program’s 2013-14 federal budget was about $208 million.
WIC operates local offices in Aliquippa, Ambridge, Beaver Falls, Freedom and Midland.
Additional information is available online at www.pawic.com or by telephone at 800-942-9467. Local offices can be reached at 866-942-2778.