Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Health department: Oklahoma WIC Program funded through February during government shutdown

OKLAHOMA CITY – A program that provides assistance and nutrition services for families across Oklahoma has been funded for another month during the federal government shutdown.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Oklahoma Women, Infant and Children (WIC) is funded through the month of February. Officials say additional funds “have been identified, and once received, will provide benefits through March.”

“Right now, it is business as usual for WIC. We have received numerous inquiries and we want participants to know that they can continue to receive services at their regular WIC clinic,” said OSDH WIC Director Terry Bryce. “Our clients can go to any WIC-approved grocery store to redeem their food benefits.”

Health officials say leaders with OSDH have been participating in national planning sessions that keep them updated on the payment status of federal grant funds, food fund expenditures and current funds available.

“Our staff has taken the lead to ensure that there is no interruption of service to our clients and no delay in payments to our vendors,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner Tom Bates. “This advance planning is reflective on our focus of the core mission of providing excellent service to all of our citizens.”

Currently, the Oklahoma WIC Program serves approximately 70,000 participants each month through 110 clinics statewide.

Funds provide nutritious supplemental foods, nutrition education and referrals for health-related programs.

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