In an effort to maintain assistance for families, the Oklahoma Women, Infant and Children nutrition service has secured funding for clients through February during the federal government shutdown. Additional funds have been identified, and once received, will provide benefits through March.
“Right now, it is business as usual for WIC. We have received numerous inquiries and we want participants to know that they can continue to receive services at their regular WIC clinic,” said OSDH WIC Director Terry Bryce. “Our clients can go to any WIC-approved grocery store to redeem their food benefits.”
Leaders at the Oklahoma State Department of Health have been participating in national planning sessions to stay updated on the payment status of federal grant funds, food fund expenditures and current funds available.
“Our staff has taken the lead to ensure that there is no interruption of service to our clients and no delay in payments to our vendors,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner Tom Bates. “This advance planning is reflective on our focus of the core mission of providing excellent service to all of our citizens.”
The Oklahoma WIC program currently serves approximately 70,000 participants each month through 110 clinics statewide. Nutrition program services are provided to pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women; and also for infants and children up to age 5. Determination for program eligibility is based on the size of the family and household income. Funds provide nutritious supplemental foods, nutrition education, and referrals for health related programs.