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Food Related Programs for Millions of Americans at Risk if the Government Shuts Down


A pause on government services would have implications for everything like food related programs to national parks to air travel to public health.


While the fight over food related programs and their spending is playing out on Capitol Hill, the effects of a potential government shutdown will be felt far beyond it.


According to NPR, the Biden administration warns that a shutdown would put food related programs and assistance at risk for the seven million people relying on WIC. The program offers healthy food, nutrition information, breastfeeding support, and other resources to low income pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children up to 5 years. This program served almost half of the babies born in America.


US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hopes that lawmakers will keep in mind that their actions have consequences for the health of millions of mothers and children. He said that their actions related to food related programs have long term impact on the country, and said that these shutdowns are devastating as these are disruptive to the lives of ordinary Americans who rely on these food related programs like the WIC.


Depending on how long a potential shutdown lasts, one of the food related programs are at risk also; the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP could also be impacted. A government shutdown would affect food related programs access and nutrition on ways.

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A government shutdown could keep food related programs from reaching other populations who are struggling to access it, from every age.


Food related programs like free and reduced programs and federal payments to Meals on Wheels would be paused and delayed, which then could force these food related programs to reduce, delay, and/or suspend services altogether.


Former FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas said that a shutdown would lead to a ripple throughout the food systems ranging from inspections, food testing, interactions with other regulators and necessary interactions, as well as consultations with the food industry.

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