The shutdown of the federal government immediately impacted the Women Infants and Children program, commonly referred to as WIC, administered by the Bear River Health Department. Department Director Lloyd Berentzen says the WIC program is funded entirely by federal dollars and provides supplemental food, health care referral and nutrition education for women, mothers and children.
Berentzen says beginning Tuesday at 5 p.m. doors of the WIC clinics in Logan and across the state will be closed and no new food vouchers will be issued until the federal government reopens.
“We have about 5500 participants in that program that will not be able to receive pretty critical preventive nutritional counseling and intervention that would otherwise be helping them,” Berentzen explains. “We’re on the phone notifying the participants today letting them know that they will not be able to come in and the WIC doors will actually be closed.”
Berentzen says with funding stopped there will not be funding to distribute food vouchers or pay for employee’s time.
“Our concern is for those immediately affected by a lack of services,” he continues. “I’m sure they didn’t anticipate such an abrupt end to critical education, baby formulas and other preventive nutritional practices.”
WIC participants who would like updated information should visit BRHD.org.