WIC

Meriwether Lewis Elementary / flickr Creative Commons

Changes to the $22 billion federal program that distributes free meals at schools won’t be coming any time soon.

A bipartisan U.S. Senate bill would have delayed requirements to reduce sodium in school meals, expanded summer meal programs and grown the Women Infants and Children (WIC) food program.

A House committee passed a sharply different bill and negotiators couldn’t hammer out differences. That leaves the child nutrition programs operating under the policies set in 20-10.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

Many low-income families struggle to afford enough food. Moms and kids who qualify can participate in a federal program geared toward early development. Once kids turn five, though, they are no longer eligible for the benefits. Harvest Public Media’s Kristofor Husted reports on how that puts families at risk.

It’s 7:30 in the morning at Battle Elementary School in Columbia, Missouri. Students hop off of their buses, head down the hallway past a few folding tables with crates of milk, fruit juice and warm muffins sitting on top.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County Commissioners are set to vote Wednesday on a grant worth more than $2 million for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

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.