If the federal government is still shut down at the end of October, 38,000 women and young children will lose access to an important federal nutrition subsidy called WIC, and 82 King County staff will be laid off.
That is the chief message delivered this morning by King County Executive Dow Constantine, Metropolitan King County Council budget chairman Joe McDermott, U.S. Reps. Jim McDermott and Suzan DelBene at a White Center press conference.
“They are literally taking food from the mouths of babies,” said Constantine.
The federal shutdown means USDA funding for WIC runs out Oct. 31. Families depend on WIC for health screenings, nutrition and health education, and breastfeeding support, and also use benefits to get free nutritious food, milk and infant formula.
“This shutdown is hurting Seattle, it is hurting Washington State, and it is hurting our country,” McDermott said. “We don’t have time to wait for the GOP to come to their senses. We must end this shutdown now.”
At a news conference today at the White Center Public Health Center at Greenbridge, Executive Constantine was joined by King County Councilmember and Council Budget Chair Joe McDermott, and a WIC client, Crystal Ruegger.