Donations for WIC families still needed despite continuation of - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Donations for WIC families still needed despite continuation of checks

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When Hannah Sandler learned many families in need of WIC assistance would not receive their checks, she wanted to help out.

"As a mother I think it's very important for women and their families to have access to food for their babies," said Sandler, who lives in Iowa City. 

Sandler got on Facebook and created the group "Helping Iowa Babies." The group had more than 600 members in less than 12 hours as people offered to host boxes for donations, which will go to food banks like the Johnson County Crisis Center.

There, donations have been pouring in all week as people look to help pregnant women, infants, and young children get the nutrition they need.

"This crisis just really demonstrates how amazing the community is," said Sarah Benson Witry, Johnson County Crisis Center. 

On Thursday, public health departments in Iowa learned they can issue WIC checks for October thanks to some unspent money from last year, which normally goes back to the federal government.

Iowa families will get checks---as long as they show up to their WIC appointments.

"Even as we get towards the end of October, because we still have to have that face to face meeting, there's some assessments, the education, and then that makes you eligible then to receive the coupons," said Doug Beardsley, Johnson County Public Health Department.

Despite WIC continuing for the month, there's still a need for donations at food banks.

"That WIC check does not meet the full need for formula," said Witry. "It's not intended to. So there's always an unmet need or gap that needs to be filled with those families."

So Sandler will leave her collection boxes at businesses in Johnson County, especially since we don't know when the shutdown will end.

"Now we're just trying to collect as many donations as possible up front to try to hopefully speed up the process of getting them to babies," said Sandler.

If you live here in Johnson County and want to donate to one of those boxes or host a collection, go to the group's Facebook page.

If you don't live in Johnson County, officials say the best thing to do is check in with your local food bank.

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