Washington state county budget shortfall puts babies at risk

With baby formula costing up to $15 a can, some new mothers in Thurston County in Washington state, say they're shocked that their food-assistance program could be cut.

"If I didn't have it, I wouldn't be able to feed my son," said Amber Schlottmann, 22, the single mother of Jonathan Carter, 7 months. "Formula is so expensive."

Schlottmann is a client of the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program, also known as WIC. The program is state- and federally funded, but to receive that money, Thurston County must contribute about $300,000 annually.

County commissioners, faced with a $4 million shortfall in the 2009 budget, say they can't guarantee that they will be able to bail out the program next year. This year, commissioners saved the program by transferring $337,000 out of budget reserves.

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