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WIC contract extended

At the regular Jan. 2 meeting, commissioners extended the performance period of a Women, Infants and Children contract through Feb. 29. The additional time is for continued staff training.

The WIC program provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk, according to the federal website.

WIC will be a three-way partnership with Mason County Public Health, Mason General Hospital and the Shelton Family YMCA, Mason County Public Health Director Dave Windom said.

WIC left the county in 2021 with no notice.

“Five hundred and fifty people lost services,” Windom said.

Most had to go to Thurston County to get WIC services, Commissioner Sharon Trask told the Journal. The reason Community Action gave for ending WIC was that the program “wasn’t profitable,” Trask said.

“We were so disappointed when Community Action Council removed WIC from Mason County,” Trask said at the meeting.

Trask said she’s “so excited and so appreciative for this to come back.”

Commissioner Kevin Shutty said he had a board meeting with the YMCA and they are also “super excited” about hosting the program.

“We’ve been without those for the last two years,” Shutty said about the WIC services.

The YMCA will be serving WIC clients three days a week, according to Windom.

“The YMCA is a great location. It’s trusted by so many people,” Windom said.

The extension will not affect the budget, according to the information packet.

Services will start by March.

Money for youth smoking prevention approved

Commissioners approved a state-funded $21,330 contract for the Youth Cannabis and Commercial Tobacco Prevention Program. The program aims to reduce pot and tobacco use by youth ages 12-20, according to the information packet.

The funds will be used to “plan, implement and evaluate cannabis and commercial tobacco,” from Oct. 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024, according to the contract.

Mason County Public Health will receive the funds and get technical assistance.

Mason Health will partner with local businesses and schools to promote “RX Take Back Days,” that accept vape devices and include information about disposing of vape devices and waste that can’t be accepted at the event, the contract says.


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