State Senator and Minority Whip Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) recently sent a letter to Governor Mike DeWine urging him to take action to help Ohioans who are affected by the nationwide baby formula shortage.
“As parents, we both appreciate how important it is to feel reassured that our babies have plenty of food available at all times,” she said. “Unfortunately, many parents in our state are currently worried that they might not be able to feed their children as they visit grocery store after grocery store only to find empty shelves.”
Senator Maharath, who introduced Senate Bill 314 to require insurers to cover medically necessary donor milk, urged the governor to create and incentivize participation in a human milk donation program. She also urged him to use American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide direct payments to help families afford formula and to support food banks purchasing formula for low-income families and WIC recipients. Senator Maharath also encouraged Governor DeWine to apply for the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Benefit Delivery Modernization Grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help update Ohio’s systems and streamline benefit distribution.
“Ohio and the other nine states all had reduced WIC use during the pandemic – not from a lack of need, but from a lack of a convenient online system,” she said. “Modernizing our benefit delivery system is long overdue, and these federal grants would help with the cost.”
Read the full letter here