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Nutritional assistance programs for Nebraska women and children will be cut if government shuts down

Posted at 6:10 PM, Sep 27, 2023

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) — There is a lot on the line with a potential government shutdown.

But one item on the chopping block that hasn’t gotten much attention is a program dedicated to making sure children have healthy meals to eat at home.

“We are seeing more first time families than ever come to visit our Mobile Pantries and utilizing SNAP assistance,” said Stephanie Sullivan with Food Bank of the Heartland.

SNAP, or supplemental nutritional assistance program, benefits will continue for at least another month but WIC benefits, or nutritional assistance for Women, infants and children will be one of the first programs to go making it even more challenging for mothers and their families to give their kids a healthy meal at home.

“Any additional barriers that are put up, such as a government shutdown will greatly impact not only how we serve our neighbors in need but our network partners,” said Sullivan.

The number of Nebraska women, infants and children that will lose their benefits number in the tens of thousands.

According to the White House, The loss of WIC Supplemental SNAP assistance will affect nearly 7 million Americans including 36,949 Nebraskans.

29,246 of which are children and infants.

It presents another challenge for organizations like the Food Bank of the Heartland that are already struggling to recover from recent natural disasters and a pandemic, but organizers say even if the government shuts down, they will be there to help their neighbors get a healthy meal.

“We have been with our Heartland neighbors through crises and we will continue to be there for them through the government shutdown,” said Sullivan.

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