By Monte Miller

Missourian Staff Writer

With some local food pantries experiencing empty shelves, officials at the Franklin County Health Department want to remind residents many nutritional services are available for those in need.

County Women Infants and Children (WIC) coordinator Rachel Saltzman, explained WIC services continue to be available at the Franklin County Health Department for eligible participants.

“We encourage any local food pantries and other community resources to refer participants to us if they see there may be a need for the family,” Saltzman said. “Services are available to eligible pregnant and postpartum women, as well as infants and children under five years of age.”

Saltzman said she wanted to raise the awareness after reading an article in The Missourian about the Union food pantry, the people it serves and other groups countywide.

The Union pantry averages in the mid-20s for the number of families it serves each day it’s open, however, the number of people helped in each family varies from week to week.

Items like soup broth, chili, noodles and fruit are depleted.

Other nonperishable items needed include cereal, dry pasta, Hamburger Helper or generic box meals, beef stew, chicken and dumplings, Spam, spaghetti sauce, canned pasta, single-serve instant oatmeal, dried beans and refried beans.

WIC

The WIC Program provides participants with breastfeeding education and support, nutrition and health education, personalized nutrition counseling, referral to other health programs and checks to buy nutritious foods.

WIC is a federally funded supplemental food and nutrition education program which helps mothers and young children eat well and stay healthy.

All applicants must meet income eligibility guidelines. Individuals who meet income and category guidelines will be assessed for nutritional risk factors.

You do not have to be a US citizen to participate in WIC.

Participants can call the Franklin County WIC office at 636-583-7307 for more information on being a part of the WIC program.