UTAH

Government shutdown could disrupt Utahns using WIC benefits

Sep 26, 2023, 3:14 PM | Updated: 4:45 pm

FILE: Stacie Hale plays with her son Theodor at home in Smithfield. Stacie hoped to get aid from WI...

FILE: Stacie Hale plays with her son Theodor at home in Smithfield. Stacie hoped to get aid from WIC but couldn't apply due to a previous government shutdown. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY  — A government shutdown means benefits that Utah families receive through the WIC program could be in jeopardy.

WIC, known in Utah as the Women, Infants and Children program is the commonly known name for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, or, a federally funded government nutrition program.

It “helps families with healthy eating through nutrition education, providing nutritious foods, breastfeeding support, and help accessing health care,” according to the state’s website.  

Through a statement to KSL NewsRadio, Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the program, said they are working to make sure the benefits don’t run out.

“The state of Utah is doing everything we can to help families who receive WIC benefits should a federal government shutdown happen.

We are working with stakeholders to identify options for benefits after the October 1st shutdown,” a spokesman for the department said.

“There is no impact to September WIC benefits,” the statement continues. “WIC clients can use their cards at any authorized WIC grocery store through Saturday, September 30, 2023. “

In Utah, what happens to WIC after October 1?

It’s not clear what will happen after October 1 — whether there’s any leeway or whether funds could dry up completely.

The department said that details would be forthcoming. 

“We are working to identify options for WIC benefits,” the spokesperson reiterated.

The department also urged concerned families to “contact their local WIC office for more information or watch for updates on the WIC Shopper app.”

Statewide, Utah’s program helps feed 41,000 mothers and children. Officials award benefits to pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to age 5.

Last week, Gov. Spencer Cox together with both House Speaker Brad Wilson and Senate President Stuart Adams, all said they have a plan to fund Utah’s national parks so they can stay open during the shutdown.

“Yes, we do have a contingency plan in place,” said Cox at his monthly PBS News conference. “We believe we can do that with existing funds without having to call a special session,” he said while noting that if the shutdown lasts several months they may have to reevaluate. 

Cox was then asked whether that plan would include funding any other of Utah’s critical federally funded programs. 

“It does not,” he said. “It’s just the national parks.”

Congress needs to sign a spending package before September 30th at midnight for the government to stay open.

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

Kouri Richins, a Utah mother of three who authorities say fatally poisoned her husband then wrote a...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Kouri Richins’ attorneys ask to withdraw from representing her in murder case

Attorneys for Kouri Richins requested to withdraw as her defense counsel and asked a judge to appoint new defense attorneys on Friday.

3 hours ago

Two teenage girls were hit by an SUV in Spanish Fork Saturday afternoon. Both girls are at Primary ...

Devin Oldroyd

Teenage girls in critical condition after being hit by SUV in Spanish Fork

Two teenage girls were hit by an SUV in Spanish Fork Saturday afternoon. Both girls are at Primary Children's in critical condition.

5 hours ago

The Salt Lake City Police Department arrested a man for allegedly kidnapping and holding a woman ag...

Devin Oldroyd

Salt Lake City police arrest man for alleged kidnapping Saturday

The Salt Lake City Police Department arrested a man for allegedly kidnapping and holding a woman against her will Saturday.

5 hours ago

SLCPD police car...

Devin Oldroyd

Salt Lake City Police Department responds to two shootings Saturday morning

The Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating two shootings that happened early Saturday morning. Both investigations are ongoing.

6 hours ago

A Utah County Sheriff's Office emblem...

Kennedy Camarena

Man was life flighted after falling 16 feet off of barn’s rooftop in Utah County

A man in his 20s had to be life flighted out of Utah County on Saturday when he fell 16 feet off of a barn rooftop.

7 hours ago

Police and firetruck lights....

Kennedy Camarena

Crane driver killed in work accident

A man working at a worksite in the Summit County area has died after the crane he was driving rolled over an embankment.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Government shutdown could disrupt Utahns using WIC benefits