The state office overseeing a program that provides food to needy women and children will receive more than $400,000 to combat ill affects of the federal government shutdown, a representative said Wednesday.
The West Virginia Office of Nutrition Services is slated to receive $437,347 in "contingency food funds" from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Allison Adler, state Department of Health and Human Resources spokeswoman.
The office oversees the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Better known as WIC, the program was one of many facing serious funding issues when political gridlock in Washington shut the government down earlier this week.
About 800,000 federal employees were told to stop working Tuesday, with the shutdown providing similar ill effects for federal programs and services.
The shutdown had little affect on many state agencies in West Virginia, but DHHR helps oversee federal programs and distributes federal money through those programs. Tuesday, Adler said the agency was still trying to determine how the shutdown affected its services.
There is enough money to keep all federally funded services available for the time being, DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling said in a statement Wednesday.
"Through our initial analysis, we feel confident that all of DHHR's programs can sustain through the rest of this week," Bowling said.
"The ever-changing environment of the federal government will continue to determine the impact of DHHR programs. If the federal shutdown continues beyond this week, we will perform a day-by-day analysis."
Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits are still available during a shutdown, although services from the offices that oversee those benefits could be limited.
If the shutdown lasts too long, state and national officials say other federally funded programs could run out of previously allocated money.