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It’s time to let your Legislators know this government shutdown hurts constituents. It needs to end now!

Some of Washington’s federal programs, like WIC, can only continue operations with reserves and carry over funds from last fiscal year. If the shutdown continues much longer, those programs will run out funds. Closing down programs hurts hungry families, hurts employees who won’t get paid, and hurts organizations whose mission it is to serve our most vulnerable residents.

According to the National WIC Association:

Despite the government shutdown that ceased funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) earlier this week and put nearly 9 million vulnerable mothers and young children at risk of losing critical nutrition and healthcare services, WIC Programs have found their footing with the help of temporary operating funds to keep WIC open through October 31st.

For now, State WIC Programs are operating in an environment of tremendous uncertainty relying on unspent funds from the last fiscal year, limited cost-containment revenue, and the finite amount of contingency funds provided by USDA.

“If Congress fails to pass a ‘clean’ continuing resolution before month’s end, many WIC Programs across the nation will run out of operating funds,” said Rev. Douglas A. Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association. “Clinics will be forced to close their doors, turn participants away, and end benefits. This would be unconscionable.

TAKE ACTION: What you can do

Call or email your Congress member to say: “I urge you to end the government shut down now and negotiate a budget that protects programs that serve hungry families.” As a top-ranking member of her party’s leadership, messages from constituents to Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (District 5) could be especially effective: “As a member of your party’s leadership, you can end the government shut down now – I urge you to do end it and to protect hungry families in budget negotiations.”

Make sure your Congress member hears clients’ stories about the impact of losing services. We know people are worried about losing benefits or missing meals – Congress wants to hear from them. Our partners already are hearing from Congressional staff who want to understand exactly how this is – and could be – affecting constituents. Call or email client stories that describe how this political crisis could cause a personal crisis for the people you know and serve.

Though many Congressional staff are now on furlough, offices still have some staff at work – and they can still read email or faxes and listen to phone messages, so please speak up! Click here to find out what district you are in.

Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-1) (Note Representative DelBene’s office reached out to us before the crisis to understand what the impact on the WIC Program would be – if you are in her district please thank her for her concern and support of the WIC Program!)

Phone: (202) 225-6311 Fax: (202) 226-1606

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-2)

Phone: (202) 225-2605 Fax: (202) 225-4420

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-3)

Phone: (202) 225-3536 Fax: (202) 225-3478

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4)

Phone: (202) 225-5816 Fax: (202) 225-3251

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5)

Phone: (202) 225-2006 Fax: (202) 225-3392

Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-6)

Phone: (202) 225-5916 Fax: (202) 225-3575

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-7)

Phone: (202) 225-3106 Fax: (202) 225-6197

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8)

Phone: (202) 225-7761 Fax: (202) 225-4282

Rep. Adam Smith (D-9)

Phone: (202) 225-8901 Fax: (202) 225-5893

Rep. Denny Heck (D-10)

Phone: (202) 225-9740 Fax: (202) 225-0129

To take action on your own time, using your own tools (computer), you can email using the NWA online form to tell House members to pass a ‘clean’ continuing resolution to end the government shutdown!

Thank you for taking time to protect Washington’s most vulnerable families!