Congress Must Act Now to Prevent Shutdown

Military Families Can't Afford a Government Shutdown

Once again, we are watching the clock tick to a potential government shutdown, with days left for Congress to take action and prevent a shutdown. A shutdown would leave military families, many of whom struggle to make ends meet, without the pay, programs, and support they rely on.

A possible shutdown would endanger the federal government’s WIC program (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children). This cost-effective investment in the next generation delivers healthy food, nutrition, and breastfeeding support to vulnerable moms, babies, and young children. We estimate more than 200,000 military families rely on WIC services, both within the United States and overseas.

Not only do military families face numerous challenges associated with military life, such as frequent permanent change of station (PCS) moves and high spouse unemployment, but military families usually live far from extended family or friends, so they have fewer resources and social support to rely on in times of need.

The stakes are high. We count on our service members and their families to defend our nation and maintain readiness at all times. All families should have access to the vital resources that WIC provides, and this is especially true of military families, who serve and sacrifice so much.

Politics may be complicated, but the solution to the threats facing military families is simple.

The National Military Family Association calls on Congress to:

  • Pass a government spending bill ensuring that service members are paid and the programs they rely on are available to support them and their families;
  • Ensure that our Coast Guard families, who spent 35 days without pay in the last shutdown, as well as NOAA and PHS are included in those provisions;
  • Fully fund the non-defense programs relied on by military families, such as SNAP, WIC and Impact Aid;

We cannot expect our military to focus on their mission when their families at home may not be able to put food on the table, and we cannot expect our military families to continue to make sacrifices for our national security without a strong message from Congress that their service is worth it.

Taking Action

The National Military Family Association has called on Congress to continue to fully fund the WIC program. Read our letter to lawmakers urging them to take action. Are you concerned about a shutdown? Does your military family rely on WIC? Use the form below to share your story with us so we can advocate for you!