Help for low-income families
Nearly 14,000 more women and young children will be able to get free infant formula, milk and other food because of an unexpected surplus of money in the state's Women, Infants and Children program (WIC).
Because food costs have not gone up, the state program has money to serve more people than planned in its original budget, said Joan Salim, director of Maryland's WIC program.
WIC serves about 66,000 low-income Marylanders, who get vouchers for infant formula, milk, juice, cereal and other nourishing food.
The program receives $24 million in federal funds and $12 million in rebates from formula manufacturers annually, Ms. Salim said. It assists pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under age 5 whose families receive public assistance or meet income requirements. A family of two cannot earn more than $16,428 and a family of four cannot earn more than $24,790 annually to qualify.
Families receiving food stamps or Aid to Families with Dependent Children will not have those benefits reduced by participating in the WIC program. Also, people receiving medical assistance are eligible even if they do not meet the income
Appointments are necessary. Mothers must bring their children and show proof of address and income. The program is enrolling eligible families during March. For information anywhere in the state, call (800) 242-4942. To make appointments in Baltimore, call 396-9427.
Help for parents
Few parents would shy from help -- especially when it comes to the health and safety of their youngsters. And here are a couple of new helpers, at your service:
* North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie is offering a free Emergency Action Treatment Guide for Children to parents, teachers and other care givers. The guide will help people who have not been trained in emergency response procedures to handle choking, burns, broken bones and high fever. To receive the guide, contact the hospital's public relations department at 787-4367.
* To help expectant mothers have healthy babies, the International Food Information Council has developed "Healthy Eating During Pregnancy," a booklet of current findings on weight gain, food choices and nutrient and calorie intake for pregnant women. For instance, the newest recommendation on weight gain is 25 to 35 pounds, up from the previous recommendation of 20 to 25 pounds, according to the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine.The booklet is free; send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Healthy Eating During Pregnancy, Box 1144, Rockville, Md. 20850.
Getting to sleep
Getting children to sleep and keeping them that way through the night takes its toll on many parents. The Maryland Committee for Children is offering help with this problem through a lecture by Dr. Richard Ferber, author of "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems." The lecture will be held at 8 p.m. March 24 at the College of Notre Dame. Tickets are $17. For more information, phone the committee at 410-752-7588.