WIC benefits, applications extended
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana health officials said nutritional assistance through the Women, Infants and Children Program, also called WIC, will stay funded until the end of October, and that they will be able to take new applicants this month.
The Department of Health and Hospitals said people who received partial benefits will need to return to their local WIC office to receive the rest of their October benefits.
A DHH spokesperson said the funding would come from money left over from the last fiscal year. The U. S. Department of Agriculture earlier said the money couldn't be accessed during the shutdown, but now said the money will be reallocated.
The government shutdown put WIC's funding and benefits in question, and DHH initially said funding existed only for partial benefits. Today DHH said all the state's WIC food costs and administrative functions will be covered by the USDA, which will let WIC provide benefits through the end of the month.
Grocery stores and other businesses that accept WIC are being advised that they should honor the WIC vouchers until the end of October.
The federally funded program serves an average of 140,000 total individuals, including mothers, infants and children up to the age of five, per month in Louisiana.
For continued updates on the WIC program, visit DHH's website.