Sarah Ford | October 3, 2013

Three Things You Need To Know About The Government Shutdown

As the clock struck midnight in Washington earlier this week, the bitterly divided Congress officially failed to pass a budget and the United States government shut down. As a result of this partisan, political gamesmanship of a few, millions of Americans will feel the pain. Here are three things to know about the government shutdown and how it affects our children.

The Shutdown Will Hurt Moms and Babies


If it continues for more than a week or so, the shutdown will affect the “Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children,” otherwise known as WIC. This is the program that helps low-income pregnant women, new moms and their babies afford basic nutritional care. As Share Our Strength’s founder and CEO Bill Shore put it:

We know that WIC is proven to fight childhood hunger and improve children’s health and brain development. It has long-term effects on the health, education and economic competitiveness of this nation. The political posturing that has led to the government shutdown is once again hurting those in our country who are least able to speak out for themselves. ….The collateral damage in this political game is the health and wellbeing of millions of mothers and children.

The Shutdown Will Hurt Older Kids.    

The shutdown also hurts efforts to protect older kids from abuse and hunger. Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe summed it up like this:

[The shutdown] will greatly hinder the ability of the Arkansas Department of Human Services to investigate claims of child abuse and neglect.  More than 85,000 meals for Arkansas children will not be provided… What should be a simple and clean resolution to fund our federal government has turned into political posturing by elected officials who, of course, will not be among those hurt by their actions.  Arkansas and America deserve better from Washington.

The Shutdown Will Hurt Parents, Grandparents, and Others People Who Take Care of Kids.

Emergency food services, which provide food to Food Banks, will be halted, as are senior nutrition grants, (which provide meals for 2.5 million of our nation’s elderly.) More than 800,000 federal employees are off the job and without pay. (For now, “air traffic controllers, prison guards and border patrol agents will remain in post, but if the shutdown drags on long enough, their paychecks could be delayed.”) The Department of Veterans Affairs only has enough money to continue paying benefits through October, but the Board of Veterans Appeals, which hears appeals regarding the denial of disability benefits, will be shuttered.
Here’s what we need to do now: Text STRENGTH to 877877 or call 1-877-752-6479 to tell your elected officials to end the shutdown immediately. There’s just too much at stake.

Reposted from Share Our Strength

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