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Pa. warns long-term shutdown may disrupt WIC

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 12:24 p.m.

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the state's Women, Infants and Children offices are open and providing services, but warns they may struggle to continue services if the federal government's shutdown stretches on.

The Department of Health said Wednesday the Pennsylvania WIC program, as it is known, can operate normally for a few weeks using money left over from the previous fiscal year and additional food funds, such as rebates.

But Health Secretary Michael Wolf says he's asking local WIC agencies to draw up plans to minimize the disruption of food aid in the event of a long-term federal government shutdown.

WIC provides food aid, health care and counseling to low-income pregnant women, new mothers and young children. The department says it serves about 250,000 people per month.

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