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JACKSON, Miss – The Mississippi State Department of Health’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will remain open through the month of October even without congressional action.

Working with our federal partners at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – the agency funding the WIC program – the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has been given permission to use available funds remaining from the last fiscal year. Without these funds, the WIC program would have to terminate services to more than 94,000 clients each month due to the government shutdown.

State Health Office Dr. Mary Currier says this option will make a big difference for the WIC program and its recipients. “The USDA allowing us to use these funds ensures that we will be able to continue WIC operations, without disruption, for at least the complete month of October. This gives us a little breathing room.”

Currier adds, “We will continue to monitor, assess and make plans for every contingency as we know that no new federal funding can be used until Congress acts to appropriate fiscal year 2014 funds. Please know that we are working every way possible to continue our services to moms and babies in Mississippi, and to protect the jobs of our dedicated employees.”

The WIC Program is a supplemental nutrition program for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, infants and children under five years of age. The Mississippi Program operates and maintains 96 distribution sites serving clients statewide.

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