Selinsgrove and Sunbury WIC offices close
SUNBURY — The Selinsgrove and Sunbury WIC Program offices will be closed until further notice due to a funding freeze brought about by a statewide audit of the WIC program. WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children and is a short-term public health nutrition program where low-income mothers and children can receive nutritious foods through vouchers provided to them.
Lisa Weir of Family Planning Plus, which administers the program, explains what happened. She said, “Evidently they are auditing at the state level. The way it works is WIC is allocated by federal funds, which then stream down to the state, through the Pennsylvania Department of Health. And then from the Department of Health, it goes to other regional offices, and then it comes to us. So, it’s sort of caught between the state and those regional entities.”
Weir says it is not clear when the audit will be complete and they have not received funding since June. There are also offices in Lewisburg, Shamokin and Lewistown. Those offices will remain open only one day a week to try to help more than 5,000 women, infants and children that it serves each month. However, Weir says that won’t be possible.
She said, “We will only be open one day a week in Lewisburg, Shamokin and Lewistown offices, and we serve normally 5,000 women, infants and children every single month. At best, we will be able to serve only about 1,000. What we are doing is prioritizing those most in need.”
And Weir says the closures were out of their hands. She said, “We’ve never had this happen before. I’ve been here since 1987 and I broke down and cried and several employees broke down and cried. We are really concerned about our clients getting needed care.”
She says those impacted are encouraged to contact their local legislators to make them aware that there services have been cut due to the statewide audit taking place. (Ali Stevens)
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