With the U.S. government partially shut down, concerns surfaced among some low-income mothers and small businesses in Reading.
Originally, it was belived that no additional federal funds would be available to support the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as (WIC).
But Monday, despite a partial government shut down, mothers who receive WIC benefits were still able to make purchases.
LaTasha Tisdale, who works two jobs to take car efo her kids, says she uses WIC to purchase costly baby formula.
The Pennsyvlania State Dept. of Health released the following statement:
"I don't know what I would do or how I would get by without it," said Tisdale.
Tuesday afternoon, the PA Dept. of Health released the following statement:
"Regarding long-term impacts of a federal shut down, we are working closely with the governor’s office and the USDA to develop a contingency plan and next steps. We recognize that WIC is a vital program to many in Pennsylvania and our focus is and will continue to be on protecting the health and well-being of our citizens and trying to minimize disruptions to the extent possible," explained Aimee Tysarczyk, director of communications.
But some wanted more of a guarantee that WIC benefits would not be in jeopardy.
At Fine Fare Supermarket in Reading, management says they also want clearer answers from the government.
A good portion of their customers use WIC to make purchases, and they say a temporary shutdown of benefits could hurt their business, and have wide-spread consecuences.
"Not only us, the baby. The baby has WIC to grow up. If they don't eat how are they going to grow up. I worry about it," said Eddie Espinal, manager.
The USDA said food stamps would not be affected in October.