MONTPELIER ó Fewer eligible people are using nutritional benefits, and area health officials say they donít know why.
The news was part of a report given to the Montpelier City Council on Wednesday.
State health staffers said Vermontís WIC program remains a consistently underserved area. The program provides participants with a debit card programmed with a monthly cash allowance for fruit and vegetable purchases; informational services; support and help with breast-feeding; and free delivery of healthy food. The program focuses on women, infants and children, but male caretakers can also be eligible.
Participants must meet income restrictions of about $42,000 or less for a family of four. Families must also have nutritionally or medically at-risk pregnant, postpartum or breast-feeding women and children younger than 5 years old.
The Vermont Department of Health-Barre District Office also is looking to strengthen a Vermont Emergency Response Volunteers database, which is a system that helps deploy trained people to emergencies when needed.
Bonnie Alexander, a public health nutritionist, also noted that there are free immunizations to the uninsured the first Tuesday of each month. She said 350 people recently received vaccinations for whooping cough.MORE IN Central Vermont
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