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Local Help for WIC Recipients

The uncertain future of WIC has some local companies and charities rushing to help out.

As we reported Thursday night, the state restored funding for the program through the end of October, but after that remains uncertain.

ABCCM is urging it's 300 churches to hold emergency food drives through at least the end of the month, and they're not the only ones working quickly to keep kids from going hungry.
Two year old Jesiah seems like a bright and happy child.  Jesiah is one of ABCCM's more than 300 WIC clients.

Ramona Johnson, grandmother, "ABCCM helps us with milk and diapers, pullups, food."

But with the future of WIC uncertain after the end of October, ABCCM wants to fill up it's pantry with extra baby food and formula.

Scott Rogers, ABCCM, "we've had a number of families, young families coming in telling us they're worried about having enough food, and particularly families with WIC."

Buncombe County health officials say, on the average, more than 5,000 county residents use WIC services each month.

In addition to charitable organizations helping out, the Food Lion Grocery Store chain donated half a million dollars to North Carolina.  More than $12,000 was given to MANNA Food Bank, in the form of $5 gift cards.  MANNA's WIC clients can use the cards for anything at Food Lion except tobacco and alcohol.

Benny Smith, Food Lion, "we would encourage other retailers, if they would like to do so,  to join us in helping out WIC customers so they don't have to decide whether to pay their rent or to buy food."

Food bank workers say they appreciate Food Lion's quick response at a time when the federal government is at a standstill.

Cindy Threlkeld, MANNA Food Bank, "we have to raise our voices and say enough is enough.  It's not a political issue.  A hungry child is not a republican or a democrat, it's a hungry child."

Back at ABCCM, Scott Rogers says in addition to infant formula, they can also use donations of diapers and baby and children's clothing.


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