OLD TOWN, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- The government shutdown continues to cause concern for families, workers, and individuals who depend on federal funding to survive. In Maine, there is a very special group who counts on funding from the Women, Infants, and Childrens Nutrition also known as WIC to provide. Kinship families occur when parents for one reason or another can no longer care for their own children and a relative steps in to keep those kids out of foster care. For those families, it is money out of their own pocket to provide for children.
Jasmine Burnett is a kinship mother. She could not bare the thought of allowing her two nephews and niece to enter foster care after her sister lost custody of them. So she did more than most aunts do and took the children under her wing and offered them a stable home. What helps to provide for her family are programs like WIC.
According to Jasmine, if the funding stops she does not know what she will do.
Jasmine said, "WIC is a huge asset to our family right now. I mean I have three kids on WIC, that's almost ten gallons of milk a month that these kids need. They need it to help their bones grow and they need the nutrition from the fruits and vegetables. Grocery bills are insane. I mean it's nothing for me to the store and spend 200-dollars for fruits and vegetables and a healthy meal for them. WIC helps, you know? In my opinion it would be terrible to see that shutdown because I know it helps millions."
WIC has enough money to last through the end of October, but if the government shutdown continues funding could come to an end.
Jasmine and other kinship families are turning to other avenues for help. Organizations like Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine help supplement the possible loss of income.