A government shutdown means an impact for thousands in the Sun City. Though many federal employees are considered essential and safe from furloughs, there are many residents who rely on federal programs — like the women, infants and children food program — or WIC.
The impact not only affects local beneficiaries, but local suppliers, like the locally owned Silva’s Supermarket as well.
“We’re in a poor neighborhood and the majority of the people who live in this area are receiving some type of benefit,” said Silva’s Co-owner Roberto Manzanares.
He says federally funded programs like food stamps or WIC, are some of the biggest contributors to their sales.
“The merchandise that we stock in our store is designed to help whoever is receiving benefits from WIC, we have an aisle dedicated to the wic product,” said Manzanares.
WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program for millions of low-income women with infants, and children in the U.S., including tens of thousands here in the Borderland. Those federally funded food vouchers are only valid for certain healthy-food items.
In the past when the government has shut down, the program has run on contingency funds, which the USDA says is limited for only a couple of weeks.