By Gary Ogle
In spite of the federal government shutdown that has closed many offices and services across the country, Ohio WIC offices are still open for business. That’s the message Crawford County WIC Director Kathy Bushey wants to convey to those who utilize the agency’s benefits and those who think they might be eligible.
“We are still open, still running,” Bushey said. “Keep your appointments, spend your coupons.”
Bushey said offices in Bucyrus, Crestline and Galion have been inundated with calls. She said part of the confusion might stem from WIC programs in other states closing offices because their funding has run out. She says that is not the case in Ohio.
“Even though the federal government has shut down, Ohio WIC is still serving its constituents.”
An email received in the local offices indicates that WIC Ohio has received contingency funding from the USDA and has enough money to maintain services through October. Bushey said the local WIC offices combined in Crawford County to serve approximately 1,350 constituents annually. Last funding year the agency distributed over 52,000 coupons worth $700,755.90.
“That’s what’s been redeemed back into the community,” Bushey said.
Bushey said anyone who has questions about benefits or eligibility can call the offices at 419-562-5849 in Bucyrus, 419-683-2921 in Crestline, or 419-462-1197 in Galion.
WIC stands for Women-Infants-Children. Bushey indicates those currently with medical cards are eligible for WIC benefits, a child up to age 5 and any woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding. There is also an income guideline based on family size.