Thank you for featuring the work of A Small Hand. Government supplemental feeding programs are indeed the major source of nutrition for infants being raised in low-income families. But I would not want your readers to read the clarification in the June 28 paper and conclude that A Small Hand is giving away formula to parents who do not need it.
We would be the first to cut back if we could, because it is costing us over $2,000 each month.
In support of our work, I would simply quote from Infant Nutrition and Feeding. This is a reference handbook for staff administering the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). The full text is available from the USDA website.
"Since the WIC and CSF Programs' infant formula allowance is intended to be supplemental and not meet the nutritional needs of all infants, caregivers will need to obtain additional infant formula beyond that provided by WIC or CSFP."
One of the options suggested to help parents who need additional food is to "refer the parent/caregiver to sources of financial or food assistance in the community that they may be eligible for," according to the handbook.
In Shenandoah County, A Small Hand is a source of needed formula and age-appropriate foods.
Ann McBroom, executive director, A Small Hand