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Health

Sedgwick County To Decide WIC Funding

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Sedgwick County
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Sedgwick County Commissioners are set to vote Wednesday on a grant worth more than $2 million for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

The bulk of the $2.2 million is for the staffing and administration of the county’s WIC program, which serves about 11,000 women and children each month.

Commissioner Jim Howell says research shows the number of WIC cases has declined in recent years, yet there’s been a slight increase in the number of employees.

He expects a thorough review of the program.

"I think we ought to be very careful again," Howell says. "I don’t want to take any more money than we need. And then also the type of services they provide. The WIC program primarily provides food vouchers to the qualified folks who need that, but on top of that they are providing this breastfeeding training, and I’m not sure that really belongs in the WIC program necessarily."

Howell says it’s likely the grant will be approved, but possibly at a reduced level.

The director of the county health department says the WIC grant has provided support for the program’s three locations for 40 years. The federal grant is administered through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and has been renewed each year.

Last February, the county commissioners rejected a federal health grant worth $2.3 million to help combat obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The Medical Society of Sedgwick County took over as the lead on that four-year grant.

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Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

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