SUNBURY - Women, Infant and Children’s offices in Sunbury, Selinsgrove and Lewistown will remain open after receiving a cash advance to cover operating expenses from Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania.

“The money could not have come at a better time,” said Peggy Moser, executive director of Family Planning Plus which provides nutritional education and supplemental food to more than 5,000 women and children each month in Northumberland, Snyder, Union, Mifflin and Juniata counties through WIC programs.

The agency announced last week it would be forced to temporarily close WIC offices in Sunbury, Selinsgrove and Lewistown beginning Friday and drastically reduce the hours at the Lewisburg and Shamokin offices due to a shortfall of $370,000 in federal reimbursements caused by a funding freeze.

Department of Health spokesman Aimee Tyszarcyzk said the funding problems have been caused by the Family Health Council, which oversees local WIC programs, which failed to submit invoices and other financial documents in a timely manner during the statewide audit of the program.

On Wednesday, Moser announced that the temporary office closures and cutbacks would not happen as planned after Cindy Stewart, president and CEO of Family Health Council vowed to advance May and June payments to them on Friday.

“Because funds remain frozen, Family Health Council had to take the money from their line of credit, and we really appreciate their sacrifice,” Moser said, also expressing gratitude to state Reps. Lynda Schlegel Culver, R-108 of Sunbury, and Fred Keller, R-85, of Kreamer, and state Sens. John Gordner, R-27, of Berwick, and Gene Yaw, R-23 of Loyalsock Township.

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