The belt tightens women and children under sequester

The belt tightens women and children under sequester

CREATED Mar. 19, 2013

Reporter: Greg Gurule

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A food program critical to many Arizona mothers with new babies and older children may have to do some belt-tightening under sequester-mandated Washington budget trimming.

The Women, Infants and Children, or WIC program as it's known, which helps 162,000 people in this state faces money cuts from the Feds.

Arizona State Health Services says 60 percent of the babies born in the state start out on the WIC program, which provides items like milk, produce, cereal and other food. The state faces a five percent or more reduction in what it can provide because of sequester cuts, and that means fewer people will be able to rely on WIC.

The state is looking at changes in types of food, like using store brands instead of name brands, to help reduce prices and keep the program available to more people. Health Services said it will not know if or how much WIC could be cut until the word comes out of Washington before the end of this month.