LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Health Department is closing three WIC locations at the end of the month. Some council members had ideas on how to keep the program running, but it's a done deal.

On July 1, the Health Department will only have three WIC locations open. The Health Department explained the changes to the Health, Education and Housing Committee Tuesday. 

There are 5,000 WIC participants, which equal about 2,000 local families, in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. They receive $40 a month in healthy food.

The WIC Clinic on Hazelwood Avenue, along with the locations in Middletown and Fairdale, will close.

The decision to close the locations comes after an $800,000 shortfall and decreased participation in the program.

"5000 people are a lot of people," Rep. Tom Burch (D-District 30) said. "If I've done something wrong and I haven't provided the money for this, I'll try to rectify that. But right now, we can not close those clinics."

"There's been a lot of feedback from the community that we are cutting services, but really our goal is to increase the number of clients we have in the program, so we are going to focusing on outreach," Dr. Sarah Moyer with the Metro Dept. of Public Health said. "We're going to have three larger sites that to try and focus more on customer service. We have done a lot of research that over 90 percent of clients plan on continuing their services."

The three larger sites are located at the L&N building downtown, in Newburg and on Dixie Highway.

10 positions were cut, but we're told people either retired or found other jobs. There were also two layoffs, but the Health Department is hoping to find jobs for those people. There are also two other WIC locations in the city that are not run by the Health Department.

More: Budget shortfall leads health department to close half its WIC clinics

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