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Virginia WIC offices open during shutdown

newspaperState Health Commissioner Cynthia C. Romero, MD, FAAFP, assured Virginians today that all offices for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) across the state are open and providing services during the partial shutdown of the federal government.

“All local WIC offices are currently open and are continuing to provide vital services to the families and individuals who depend on them in the commonwealth,” Dr. Romero said. “It remains ‘business as usual’ for WIC operations in Virginia.”

Despite the continuing partial shutdown of the federal government, the Virginia Department of Health is confident that it has identified funding options to keep the WIC program running through at least November 1, 2013.

This funding includes 2013 WIC carryover dollars, rebates from Virginia’s infant formula contract, reimbursement from Medicaid, money from a USDA emergency contingency fund and continued prudent program oversight by WIC staff throughout the state.

Additionally, there is no need for any furloughs of WIC staff through at least November 1, 2013.

Romero stressed, “The importance of the WIC program to women and children in Virginia cannot be understated. Providing essential healthy food packages, high quality nutrition education, breastfeeding support and referrals to needed human services ensures that our participants continue to experience healthy pregnancies and growth. We are watching budgets closely in hopes of extending WIC services as long as possible during these uncertain times.”

The Virginia WIC program provides services to approximately 155, 777 recipients per month. In the fiscal year 2013-2014, its federal budget was $101,081,014.

For additional information and updates, recipients and vendors can visit http://www.vahealth.org/DCN/General Info/newwic.htm.

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