Shutdown threatens nutrition program for women, infants, and children

The federal government shutdown is threatening a nutrition program for women, infants, and children.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is operating normally in Minnesota, but Minnesota Department of Health officials are not sure how long that will continue.

WIC provides healthy food, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support to about 125,000 Minnesotans each month.

"I will say that it's probably a few days rather than weeks," said Maggie Diebel, director of the department's Community and Family Health Division. "We're monitoring it closely. We can't operate the WIC program without federal funding."

For now, WIC clinics are open. Diebel encourages program participants to keep their appointments and redeem their vouchers for food as usual.