DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos joined Gov. Pat McCrory, State Budget Director Art Pope and Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry at Second Harvest Food Bank in Charlotte on Oct. 14 to announce that $750,000 in state funds were being released to help food banks stock up.
She joined the governor’s call to Washington to resolve the disagreements that paralyzed portions of the federal government during the partial shutdown.
“This is heartbreaking,” Wos said. “My top concern is that, as the shutdown lingers, there will be hardship for those who depend on these services. The situation remains very fluid, but I am committed to doing everything in my power to minimize the impact on our most vulnerable citizens. I urge federal officials to fulfill their responsibilities.”
In the preceding week, the partial federal shutdown forced a two-day suspension of issuing new vouchers for the Women Infants and Children (WIC) food and nutrition program. During the suspension, officials from DHHS and the Office of State Budget and Management identified alternative funding sources to keep the program running through October.
Second Harvest is part of the North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks and its affiliated soup kitchens, child care facilities and senior meal programs, which distributed almost 127 million pounds of nutritious food to North Carolinians in need in 2012. Approximately 170,200 different people in North Carolina receive emergency food assistance in any given week.