The state today is going to begin denying special food supplements to poor pregnant women and children because of a severe budget crunch.
The Department of Health Services said it would begin gradually reducing 11,000 women and children from the $195 million federally funded food program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC.
The program in April was serving 470,000 people, but federal funds cover payments for only 459,000, state Department of Health Services officials said.
The state is also going to eliminate vouchers that allow recipients two pounds of cheese a month and cut their allotment for fruit and vegetable juice in half, a department spokesman said. Recipients will continue to receive coupons for milk, cereal, infant formula and a partial allocation for juice.