WIC Benefits On The Chopping Block As Government Shutdown Looms

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(Memphis) Some mothers and children in Memphis may soon be wondering where their next meal is coming from as the government threatens to shut down.

One of the first programs to be cut is Women Infants and Children vouchers, also known as WIC.

The House of Representatives currently says it will not approve the budget if 'Obamacare' amendments are a part of it, because most of them believe it is financially bad for the country, although the Senate says it’s staying in.

If they don’t come to an agreement, the government will shut down, impacting programs like WIC.

In Memphis, 26,000 people are on WIC.

It's different from food stamps or the SNAP program because federal money is given to young mothers and children in poverty so they can buy nutritional things they need, like eggs and milk.

Shirley Culbreath thinks politicians are forgetting about poor people.

“Pay attention to who needs something and needs help. They have money so they're not worried about it,” said Culbreath.

Culbreath is afraid young children and infants who depend on WIC vouchers for food will go hungry if the program is stalled because of politicians.

“They need to give it back to them so they can feed the children because a lot of young people don't have anything,” said Culbreath.

Despite the fact that so many people in Memphis depend on WIC Congressman Steve Cohen says other people in Congress don't see the importance.

"Well I guess it`s not considered essential to government. "

Republicans want to delay the Affordable Care Act a year to iron out the kinks, then pass the budget and continue funding programs like WIC, but Congressman Steve Cohen says that's not a good idea.

“We passed this bill three years ago. It's been law for three years, and it does have some kinks but there are going to be kinks whenever it's implemented because of how large it is,” said Cohen.

“Those programs are really a crutch,” claims Christopher Prayter of Memphis.

Prayter thinks the government should put the pause on WIC benefits and do home visits to verify the people on the program need help.

“There's a lot of people out here who are misusing this program just for the benefit,” said Prayter.

The Tennessee Department of Health says they are just waiting to see what is decided in Congress. then they will get their orders from the Feds.

If you are on WIC, they say there is nothing you can do other that wait to see what Congress decides.