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Shutdown: WIC Program Funding

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) --Dad Russell Jenkins says the energy from his two kids comes from the food they eat. Food that's only possible through WIC - or Women, Infants, and Children. WIC is a federal program that provides families in need with food to keep them healthy.

Without it we would be in trouble, Russell said.

Now the Jenkins family is facing that very real possibility, as the shutdown in Washington is shutting off his family's nutrition source.

I hope they figure it outI hope they get things done, Jenkins said.

The phones were ringing nonstop on Monday for Kim Ott and the Cedar Rapids WIC office. Effective Monday, the WIC office stopped issuing checks to families.

When it comes down to it, the most important thing is kids need to eat, Ott said.

However, more than 60,000 residents statewide that depend on WIC aren't sure where that food is coming from.

Jenkins says just buying milk for his lactose intolerant son may break the bank.

I can't really afford to pay 4 dollars for a half gallon of milk, Jenkins said.

Ott says that may be the trend.

There will be families that will go hungry, there will be children who won't have formula, infants who won't have formula, Ott said.

In addition, as the program goes, so do the dozen or so employees that work here.

We have received notice today that we will be laid off in ten days, Ott said.

Jenkins has a simple plea for Washington.

Please get things fixed; we and a lot of other people need the help, Jenkins said.

Ott says the checks that were issued before the government shutdown will be honored.

If you're in need of assistance because of WIC cuts, you can call (319) 739-4211 or (866) 469-2211 or you contact the United Way Resource Center for food resources at by dialing 211 on your phone.
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