The Summit County Health Department, thanks to emergency funding from the Summit County Council, will be able to provide emergency Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC)-approved foods to existing Summit County clients through the month of October.

Due to the partial government shutdown, Summit County WIC services were suspended as of Oct. 1. At this time, families who had picked up their food vouchers for the month of October are able to get their food from the assigned vendors.

There are 624 clients (mothers, children and infants) enrolled in the program. However 89 clients were unable to acquire their vouchers before the WIC offices closed. These Summit County residents were without access to important food and nutrition sources.

Because of the funding provided through the Summit County Council, these clients will now be provided with essential foods they and their children need.

The WIC offices will now be providing the WIC-approved foods to those who were unable to pick up their vouchers. Instead of these clients going to the store, they will be notified to come to the Health Department offices and acquire weekly amounts of non-perishable items. Additional funding will be provided to the local food pantries to help offset the need for perishable food items for WIC clients.

"In addition to community partners who have stepped forward to help us meet the needs of our citizens, I would like to thank the Summit County Council and County Manager for recognizing the importance of this program and keeping our community healthy," said Richard Bullough, Summit County Health Director.

This program will take place on a weekly basis through October as needed. In the event that the government shutdown continues in to November, the County Council has approved additional emergency funding for WIC operations for all current clients.