HOUSTON—The center of Doris Daigle’s world is small. Her daughter Robin is just three months old and she is even more dependent than most.
“At the ground we are at rock bottom. Because we can’t afford it here,” Daigle said.
The family depends on the Star of Hope for a roof over their heads, and looks to WIC, the federal subsidy program that helps mothers feed their infants, for baby formula.
Getting formula off the shelves is not an option on her budget.
“Formula itself, just one week, is over a hundred dollars,” Daigle said.
W.I.C. funding to states, cities and counties stopped last week due to the government shutdown.
“I think that it is bad because you are putting these babies at risk over something that they can fix,” she said.
Doris is focused on finding a permanent housing solution and making sure her children have food, so she doesn’t really know what the fight is all about in Washington.
She just knows it needs a solution.
“It is really the baby food—the formula. That is the most expensive thing. The most important thing we all need,” she said.
In all, there are nearly 9 million mothers that receive WIC benefits around the country and the various states and cities all have different amounts of money left over, which means there will be different lengths that they can continue benefits.
We are still waiting to hear how long officials here think they can keep them going, but every day the stalemate in DC continues is one less day of food for millions of kids just like Robin.
“They have babies to think about. These babies did not deserve anything like this,” she said.