Families in WIC program concerned over government shutdown

ALABAMA (WAFF) - The government shutdown has some families who depend on the WIC program concerned. The state of Alabama secured funds to get the program through the month of October, but what happens if a deal is not reached by then?

Currently officials say that women enrolled in the program and the vendors are covered as usual. They haven't made any changes to the program but that could change if the government is still shut down at the end of the month.

"We have been through a government shutdown before so we will look at contingency plans for our WIC program and what we will do if the funding is cutoff by the end of October, but at this point in time we're just beginning to look at what those options are," said Dr. Karen Landers, pediatric consultant for the WIC program.

Landers is hopeful congress will reach a deal by the end of the month but if not, she said the state's program is preparing to make changes.

"We know that we can make adjustments, we can reduce our case load, we can prioritize our case load but right now what we're hopeful for is a resolution for this problem," said Landers.

It's the fear of the unknown that has mothers like Cindy Hopper worried.

"I've got two vouchers left for this month and I'm supposed to renew mine on the 10 and I'm thinking am I going to be able to or should I just wait until this is done and over with, what should I do?" said Hopper.

Hopper is a mother of three and depends on the vouchers to help buy food for her children. Without the programs help, she said it would be difficult for her family to get by.

"I want the lawmakers to realize you're not just affecting the government, you're affecting us who can't afford anything. Granted, my husband has some money set back but that only goes so far," added Hopper.

Officials said they will notify those in the program if changes are made but until then, they said the program is running as usual.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.