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As Congress faces another deadline this week to keep the government open and make budget decisions, final funding levels for safety net programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, WIC, remains unclear.
But officials are already concerned that whatever funding will be made available won’t be enough.
“What we’re looking at now is a significant underfunding of that program,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack.
Roughly 320,000 people in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are enrolled in WIC, according to federal data. Benefits include affordable access to healthy foods, baby formula, health care screenings, and more for families with low incomes.