Many local services may yet be impacted

The federal government shutdown has not yet begun to affect several local organizations that provide services for children and families – however, their officials are concerned about the future.

The federal Women, Infants and Children program has not seen any ill effects from the shutdown, a local official said.

“My eight-county region is operating 100 percent as normal,” Randolph County WIC Director Sandra Miller said. “All those who have food vouchers, electronic or paper, are having them accepted as normal at all participating stores.”

WIC received a $125 million nationwide contingency fund this week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. WIC helps to influence nutrition and healthy behaviors for women and children.

Terry George, superintendent of the Randolph County Board of Education, said, “We haven’t seen any effects as of yet.”

However, George stated that “if (the shutdown) continues, it would most effect the Childhood Nutrition program. This is our biggest concern.”

The Childhood Nutrition program provides healthy and nutritious meals for students. Some children can receive free or reduced price meals based on their family’s income.Also, participating schools may nutritious after-school snacks with this funding.

“I was notified by government agencies that because most funding was obligated throughout the end of the year that there should be no interruption (due to the shutdown),” Karen Jacobson, executive director of the Randolph County Housing Authority, said.

“But there is always some uncertainty,” Jacobsen added.

The Randolph County Housing Authority helps promote strong communities by rehabilitating and building homes. In addition, they assist potential home buyers by educating them on different aspects of home ownership, including credit counseling and mortgage brokering.

The federal government shutdown went into effect after midnight on Oct. 1. Some citizens will not necessarily see any effects of the shutdown while others have been furloughed from their jobs.

The shutdown can also affect many different aspects of government funding. Due to this, many organizations may also be effected in terms of the programs and services they offer to the public.