Hold the presses.
Danny Hayes, owner of The House of Fish on East Broad Avenue, figures the top news story of the day — regardless of where it’s placed in the newspaper — is the lack of funding for WIC recipients as reported Wednesday in The Daily Journal.
WIC, formally known as Women, Infants and Children, is a federally funded program that offers vouchers to families with pregnant mothers or with children up to the age of 5. It was announced Tuesday that no more vouchers would be issued until the federal government’s shutdown is resolved. That could impact up to 400 Richmond County families.
Beginning next week, he will donate 10 percent of total sales from each Wednesday’s business to Operation Kids In NeeD (KIND). Operation KIND was formed on Wednesday. It is the brainchild of Richmond County Commissioner Don Bryant. The goal is to raise funds to help families that, with the lack of WIC vounchers, might otherwise go without.
The new organization has formed partnerships with the Baptist Associationi, the United Way and Walmart.
Hayes said he’s ready to do his part through The House of Fish.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each Wednesday and “every Wednesday going forward until the WIC program in Richmond County has been reinstated,” Hayes said his restaurant will donate 10 percent of the day’s transactions to Operation KIND.
“This is bad,” Hayes said of the situation, but giving back “is what do we in Richmond County. Yes, we will act. I can’t think of anything more serious.”
Hayes said a single can of formula can cost $15, and if WIC vouchers aren’t there to help a mother, the mother could be expected to try and steal it. That would put the person in the criminal justice system and, among other things, be ordered to pay restitution and court costs — adding to that family’s financial woes.
The family, then, would be “caught in the system” and “doomed to fail.”
Along with the Wednesday promotions at The House of Fish, there will be a table at the Rockingham Walmart from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday to collect donations. There also is a collection bucket at Bryant’s company, Bryant’s Turf and Landscape.
Tammy Schrenker, director of the Richmond County Department of Social Services, said 100 percent of donations to Operation KIND will remain in Richmond County and that “100 percent will go to the kids. There is no overhead.”