Despite the government shutdown that has eliminated funding for WIC and could effect other food programs, (note, WIC funding has sufficient funds for about two weeks according to press reports) Trevor’s Gift will be distributed in the backpacks of nearly 145 nutritionally needy children in Waterloo on Friday. That’s because Trevor’s Gift receives NO government funding. Extremely generous people, organizations and businesses in Waterloo have for the past three years stepped up to fund this vital program.
“We are so grateful to the people in our community who have helped to fund our program and enabled us to feed 18,000 children in its first three years,” said Trevor’s Gift cochair Doris Wolf.
Food Pantries around Seneca County will also remain open during the shutdown, although funding cuts will bring about greater demand for their services. Many SNAP recipients will see an $11/month cut in their benefits on November 1, unrelated to the shutdown. More program cuts are expected as the House recently voted to cut $40 billion from the program over the next 10 years. Although those cuts have been made in the House version of the bill but has met strong resistance in the Senate.
Congressman Tom Reed (R), who represents Seneca County, voted YES to make the cuts. New York Representatives Chris Gibson, Michael Grimm, Richard Hanna and Peter King were among 15 Republicans who voted NO. Chris Collins (R) was the only other member of the NY Congressional delegation to support the cuts as every Democratic member voted against the bill. Both Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, both Democrats, opposed the plan, and Gillibrand introduced a measure to restore the funding. That measure was defeated. The President says he will veto the cuts.
According to news reports by Forbes magazine, “On Tuesday, the government stopped funding the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC. Over 8.9 million moms and kids under five living near or below the poverty line rely on the program’s supplemental vouchers for healthy food, breastfeeding support, infant formula and other necessities dispensed at clinics nationwide. The USDA estimates that most states will be able to continue WIC operations as usual for “a week or so” before running out of money.
The department’s Food and Nutrition Service has a contingency fund of only $125 million available for this $7 billion annual appropriation.” Food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), will not be interrupted by the shutdown. It’s funded through October by the 2009 Recovery Act. School lunches and breakfasts will continue to be served during October.
Wolf said Trevor’s Gift is ready to feed additional children in Waterloo, should the need arise. She said families who receive Trevor’s Gift often are working families who just need a little extra help. And they are grateful for the help they receive.
Last week, Trevor’s Gift learned that a middle school family had asked to discontinue receiving Trevor’s Gift. “We are OK now,” the parents said. “Thank you for helping us over a rough spot.” Another middle school family said their primary and elementary school children were receiving Trevor’s Gift, and they felt “they were receiving their share.”
It cost $20 to feed a hungry child for a month; $200 for a school year. Tax deductible donations may be sent to Waterloo Education Foundation, Main Street Shop Center, Waterloo, NY 13165 . Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TrevorsGift