Local families struggle after WIC program stops issuing benefits

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as the WIC program, has been put on suspension due to the government shutdown, leaving many Piedmont families wondering where their next meal will come from.

As of Wednesday October 9, nutritional staff has to tell their clients they are now on a waiting list and new applications will not be processed.

In North Carolina, 264,000 people use the WIC program; 13,545 people in Guilford County.

WIC Director Rebecca Gilliland said that although the supplemental benefits are put on hold, clients are encouraged to still attend regular nutritionist appointments and counseling services, as well as make sure their mailing address information is up to date for whenever the shutdown is lifted.

Guilford County clients were sent home with a list of referral food agencies and food banks in the area as a temporary solution.

Executive Director Rev. Mike Aiken of the Greensboro Food MInistry said although their shelves are full, they are not prepared to serve the thousands who use the WIC program.

"People need to realize the government provides 23 bags of food in comparison to one bag of food that all nonprofits, churches give, so what the government does really directly affects us," Aiken said.

The WIC program has an annual budget of $205 million dollars and is funded solely by the federal government.

In response to the WIC program suspension, Food Lion  made a $500,000 donation to food banks across the state to support citizens who need food assistance to feed their families.

"Food Lion is pleased to take a leading role across the state in providing critical funding to North Carolina food banks that will begin to receive increased requests in the coming weeks," said Beth Newlands Campbell, president of Food Lion. "In North Carolina, one in four children face hunger each day, and parents are forced to make difficult decisions, like buying formula or paying rent, to provide their children with the nutrition they need. We’re hopeful that today’s donation helps families to make fewer of those tough choices, particularly during this time."

The gift cards, which are in $5 increments, will be distributed to food banks in Asheville, Charlotte, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem that serve counties throughout the state.

4 comments

  • Eric

    The average family of 4 get $500-$750 sometime more worth of food stamps…..who in there right mind spends this much money on food a month. As far as Food Lion if I was a betting man I would say over 50% of its profit/sales come from the tax payers taxes!!! The these folks should have food stock piled!!!

  • Mary Robbins

    Yup, ever notice that wic lets them get name brand veggies while I the federal income taxpayer buys the store brand on sale. Somethings wrong with this picture. Check out the big wic signs in Food Lion some day.

  • You Know

    That’s pretty petty to be envious of name brand veggies versus store brand veggies. It’s not like WIC gives people the option to buy filet mignon. It’s a program designed to help Women, Infants and Children eat. You know; something people have to have to survive is food. I hate that us taxpayers are flipping the bill for this but there are other things than WIC that I hate knowing my taxpaying dollars are going towards. TV’s, gym time and even health care for inmates is a good start……..

  • Okeyma Lewis

    Wow.. Jealous over name brand veggies.. What person in their right mind would have something negative to say about WIC recipients or Food Stamp recipients.. Nobody seems to be worried about the kids that this childish shut down is affecting.. They didn’t ask to be here but they’re the ones being punished.. I get so sick of people yelling, “My tax dollars this, my tax dollars that.” While guess what your tax dollars also pay HOUSE, SENATE & the PRESIDENT.. While its people out here struggling & trying to figure out how to make their pay checks last till next pay period, how to stretch little bit of food left in the cabinets or what will their infant eat once the last bit of formula runs out.. The HOUSE, SENATE & PRESIDENT is probably somewhere eating at a five star restaurant while sipping on the finest wine.. COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT… But Noooo folks to busy worrying about people on WIC & FOODSTAMPS.. Lol SMH.. Grow Up People

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