Town: Skenesborough EMS no longer wishes to host WIC

R ecently the Skenesborough Rescue Squad informed the town that it no longer wishes to host the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program.
At the June 11 town board meeting, this issue was presented by Supervisor George Armstrong who said that he plans to convince the Rescue Squad to allow this program to continue within their doors.
Armstrong said that the program has been hosted at the Rescue Squad’s station for a very long time now, although he was not certain exactly how many years.
Despite Armstrong’s best intentions, it appears that he will have no luck getting the rescue squad to budge on keeping this program.
“It sounds to me like they are pretty adamant about getting them out,” Armstrong said.
Vern Scribner, who formerly worked for both the town and the rescue squad, must have had some insight into the extent of this issue.
Scribner jested to Armstrong, “I bet you fifty bucks that you cannot get them to keep WIC there.”
“Apparently the building gets left a mess when they host WIC,” Armstrong added, “And they are concerned about some locked up drugs around the building, they don’t want the kids getting to them.”
Town Attorney Erika Sellar-Ryan explained that this program is an absolute necessity for the Whitehall area.
“This program is for low-income people, many of whom don’t have a means to get to Glens Falls or elsewhere for similar services,” Sellar-Ryan stated, “This is crucial to keep in the Whitehall area.”
WIC is a program within the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. The program uses federal grants, which are given to the state and is intended to supply “supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.”
Officials agreed that the current location was the best for the program to be successful and that is why Armstrong hoped to convince the Rescue Squad to continue hosting it.
“The Rescue Squad is the perfect place for it,” Armstrong stated, “It is in easy walking distance for a lot of these women and there is good parking access for those who do drive.”
The current WIC program for Whitehall takes place once a month, on a Tuesday at the Rescue Squad.
If Armstrong is unable to convince the Rescue Squad to continue hosting the WIC program, Whitehall will need a new location, but the location will not be a town decision.
“This is between the county WIC program and whomever they can get to host it,” Armstrong stated, “This is not a town issue.”
Town board members discussed the potential of hosting it at the Recreation Center if the Rescue Squad doesn’t change their mind, but there is much skepticism about this idea. Some on the board mentioned that the Recreation Center would not be an ideal location for this program.
“Even if the board gave WIC permission to move to the Recreation Center, we would still have a problem,” Armstrong added, “It would interfere with the Rec Center’s meal program, once per month.”
Armstrong also stated, “I hope they can find someplace else, but if it does go to the Rec Center, it definitely will not be going into the Senior Center.”

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