WILMINGTON — The nationwide infant formula shortage means even more challenges for WIC participants than it does for other new moms — for whom it is seriously stressful for sure.
Clinton County Health District’s WIC Director Renee Quallen spoke Monday about the under-supply during a monthly local Board of Health meeting. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a U.S. Department of Agriculture program for low-income pregnant women and for low-income mothers with infants or young children.
The extra challenges for WIC mothers, Quallen said, stem from program participants being able to use their WIC benefit only at certain stores that sell baby formula. In Clinton County, WIC participants can make use of the program at the Wilmington and Blanchester Kroger stores, Walmart in Wilmington, and Uhl’s IGA in Sabina.
So within the county, WIC participants are limited to those four stores, and limited to certain brands of formula. That said, they can go out-of-county anywhere in the state and use their WIC benefit at WIC-approved vendors.
Locally, Quallen or a staffer tries to go to the four stores almost every day so when they get calls, they can tell people whether a store has plenty of such-and-such a formula, she said.
As of the Monday morning meeting, there was plenty of the standard milk-based formula on local shelves, reported Quallen.
As an option, WIC staff is publicizing that any amount of breastmilk provided will lessen the demand for formula, “not only for your baby but other babies, too,” she said.
The county WIC lactation staff is here to help breastfeeding moms, said Quallen. Breastmilk, as always, is free, available and has benefits not found in formula.
The lactation staff is available to answer questions 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays at 937-382-2862.
Almost every insurance company will reimburse for breast pumps now, said the WIC director.
The baby formula shortage was caused in part by a closure of an Abbott Nutrition plant in Sturgis, Michigan, which shut down after two infants became fatally ill in February.
COVID vaxx clinics
In June, the Clinton County Health Department will continue to host “Walk-In” COVID vaccination clinics on Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. The clinics will be held in the community room at the Clinton County Annex Building located at 111 South Nelson Avenue in Wilmington.
Other COVID vaccination times in June are available by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Call the Nursing Division at 937-382-7221 to schedule your time slot.
Second booster doses are available to those eligible for them.
Well water results
Clinton County Environmental Health Director Matt Johannes said a followup round of tests conducted on wells in the vicinity of an early March diesel spill have all came back indicating no diesel was present. The water sample testing was a month apart.
“I think with the two testing cycles, we can safely say there is no migration [of diesel fuel],” said Johannes.
At a March news conference, a U.S. EPA official said the diesel fuel escaped from an R+L Carriers’ 1-million gallon above-ground storage tank after workers failed to secure some bolts after cleaning and then refilling the tank.
The spill is estimated at 23,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.