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Growing Concerns: Moms Relying on WIC
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
BATH (WENY) -- April Decker and her two sisters-in-law rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children for healthy food and infant formula for their young children. However, due to the government shutdown, federal funding for the program has been shutdown too.
"I have two kids- a four-month-old and a four-and-a-half-year-old and if I didn't have the WIC, I probably wouldn't be able to get his formula now," said Decker.
According to the Steuben County WIC office: "The New York State WIC programs in the state will continue to serve participants until further notice."
Those three words "until further notice," are what worries the three moms. They've tried to find work, but are having a tough time trying to make ends meet.
"I mean yeah, don't have a kid if you don't have the money to take care of them, but kid's are a blessing," says Decker. "Some people can't have them. I'd do anything for my kids."
Her sister-in-law, Erica Bacon, didn't plan on getting pregnant or losing her job.
She just graduated from Elmira Business Institute, while pregnant with her second daughter
"It's going to be rough and without the WIC. I don't think afford really much of anything," says Bacon.
She's not the only one just barely making it. In Steuben County 2400 women, infants and children receive support, in Chemung County it's 2350, and in Schuyler County it's 343. Across the country, WIC supports 9 million mothers and their babies.
The WIC program is not to be confused with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or Food Stamps, that program is not at risk.