If the shutdown of the federal government continues longer than two more weeks, 70,000 young mothers, babies and preschoolers in Kansas stand to lose access to some of the food they rely on.
KDHE has ordered local WIC offices to withhold checks for November and December until federal funding is assured. WIC checks are normally issued for three months at a time.
Dave Thomason, who heads the federally-funded Women Infants and Children supplemental food program in Kansas, says withholding checks dated later than October is a precautionary response to the federal shutdown.
KMUW hosted a live call-in show October 9. We took questions from callers, email and Twitter. Below are questions and answers from the hour. We received more questions than we could get to during the hour, but we followed up with our panelists and added those additional questions and answers below.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families will stop using federal grants to help low-income residents sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
"We simply do not believe taxpayer dollars should be used to recruit people to be on welfare," said DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed.
The federal program had awarded grants to five groups across Kansas, to help low-income residents apply for SNAP funds. The state notified the groups of the change on September 30, one day before the grants were to be renewed.
The students can participate in workshops like "Polymers, Polymers Everywhere!," "Clean Air is Always in Fashion," and "The Slime is ALIVE!" The girls will also meet role models in science disciplines.
A Kansas Supreme Court Justice Eric Rosen said during a hearing Tuesday he worries about "constant litigation" if the court sides with school districts that have sued the state to increase public education funding.
A state law enacted in 2006 set the state's base funding for public schools at $4,492 per student each year, but the current base state funding is $3,838 per student, or nearly 15 percent less. In 2010, a lower court ruled that the state must boost its annual spending on public schools by at least $440 million a year. That lawsuit followed one filed in 1999.