WIC office to cut Shamokin hours
SHAMOKIN - A "funding freeze" has caused the WIC office in downtown Shamokin to cut its hours.
Offices in Sunbury and Selinsgrove are closed indefinitely.
Beginning Saturday, Aug. 30, the Shamokin office at 10 E. Independence St. will be open just one day a week, down from three days.
There is no word on which day, exactly, the office will be open.
Offices in Lewisburg and Lewistown will also be reduced to once weekly openings.
The Sunbury location at 153 S. Second St. and the Selinsgrove location at 713 Bridge St. are operating at two days a week prior to the closings.
Family Planning Plus, which oversees the offices, announced the cuts Friday. Attempts to reach administrators for further comment were unsuccessful.
In a statement emailed Friday afternoon, it said the "closures and cutbacks are due to a funding freeze brought about by a statewide audit of the WIC Program."
"We have not received any WIC allocations since June when we received the payment for May. Unfortunately, we have almost completely exhausted our reserves and there is simply no other alternative," Peggy Moser, executive director of the agency, is quoted in the statement.
Moser said that WIC funding is allocated by the federal government, but then filters down to the state and then to a regional entity. It is being held up at the state level, according to the statement.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is a preventive, short-term public health nutrition program. It influences lifetime nutrition and health behaviors in a targeted, high-risk population of low-income mothers and young children at risk for developing nutrition-related diseases and disorders.
An estimated 5,000 clients are served by the area WIC offices.
"We are most concerned about our clients, and hope that this situation will be very short-term. Certainly we will serve those most in need first, and we will do our best to serve as many as possible," said Brett Campbell, nutritionist and WIC coordinator for Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties.
"In the short-term, mothers and young children cut from WIC will not have access to WIC's nutritious supplemental foods. They may go without healthy or enough food. In the long-term, healthy childhood growth and development may be hampered," Campbell is quoted in the release.
Family Planning Plus serves Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Mifflin and Juniata Counties. For more information, call 523-3600 or visit www.familyplanningplus.org.