Mom Trusted reports on how the government shutdown affected kids and moms here:
The government shutdown affected kids and moms as it blew through the country, shutting down federally funded programs left and right on the first of October. Many federally funded Head Start programs, which offer free preschool to kids under five, ran out of funding at the end of September. Those that couldn’t afford to stay open through other channels of income were forced to send preschoolers home indefinitely. Head Start programs in Florida, Alabama, Connecticut and Mississippi were among those forced to close, hitting 3,200 preschoolers by the day after the shutdown.
The government shutdown affected kids and moms of all ages, not just those in preschool. Programs labeled “non-essential” were the ones forced to close with the shutdown. Among the many hit was the WIC, the Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The WIC provides healthy food for low-income moms and moms-to-be with children under five years old.
Nearly nine million women and children participate in the program and receive an average monthly benefit of $45. By providing healthy food to children, the program hopes to cut medical costs in the future. For every $1 spent on WIC, the program will save over $4 in medical bills.
Many program workers and parents who depend on WIC argue that the program is the opposite of “non-essential.”
-“Shutdown threatens nutrition for mothers, children” CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/30/news/economy/shutdown-wic/index.html
-“WIC support for moms, babies threatened during shutdown” CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57605501/wic-support-for-moms-babies-threatened-during-shutdown/
-“Low-income moms and infants will see support disappear in a shutdown” Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/09/30/2701131/shutdown-wic/
-Photo courtesy of adamr/freedigitalphotos.net