An article on Gov. Donald Schaefer's mixed record on human services {"Schaefer Urged to Put Concern for Needy in Budget," Metro, Oct. 22} mentioned that the governor has consistently refused to fund the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental food program. This highly effective program, which serves children and pregnant women, is designed to lower infant mortality rates, fight low birth weight and prevent malnutrition.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia supplement federal spending by appropriating additional money for this program. Maryland does not. At least 45,000 women and children in Maryland who are eligible for WIC receive no benefits. In fact, if the state does not fund WIC in 1991, mothers and children who now receive aid may be dropped from the program because of increases in food costs.

According to the recent article on WIC {"Mothers' Nutrition Program Is Effective, U.S. Study Finds," Federal Page, Oct. 19}, the program saves money by reducing short-term Medicaid costs substantially for newborn infants. In addition, a Harvard study determined that each WIC dollar spent on prenatal care saves three dollars in future health care costs.

Because the WIC program saves money, funding it, even in the face of a tight budget, makes sense. Because the WIC program saves lives, the governor should fund it as an important response to infant mortality.

MICHAEL RUBINSTEIN Regional Manager Maryland Food Committee Rockville