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What is the WIC Program with Special Guest, Kristi, WIC Director

By Samantha Simmons

In the heart of Burke County, North Carolina, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program stands as a beacon of support for mothers and children under the age of 5. At the Burke County Public Health Department, the transformative power of WIC is felt deeply within the community. Through the nurturing power of education and nutritional support, WIC embodies more than just a program; it forms a compassionate family of individuals dedicated to accompanying you through your nourishment journey with care and understanding.

The Essence of WIC

WIC is more than just a government initiative; it's a testament to the commitment to the health and well-being of mothers and children. The program's mission is clear: to provide essential education and nutritional support to those who need it most.

Qualifying for WIC

Understanding how to qualify for WIC is crucial for those seeking assistance. To be eligible, individuals must meet four main criteria:

1.     Categorical Eligibility: Applicants must fall under the categories of women, infants, or children. For women, this includes those who are pregnant, postpartum (up to 6 months after delivery), or breastfeeding (up to 1 year after delivery). Infants and children up to the age of 5 also qualify.

2.     Residential Eligibility: Applicants must reside in the state where they are applying for WIC benefits.

3.     Income Eligibility: Individuals who participate in SNAP, Medicaid, or Work First automatically qualify. For those not enrolled in these programs, income screening is conducted to ensure that the household income is below 185% of the poverty rate.

4.     Nutritional Risk: Families must have a nutritional risk, which is assessed by healthcare workers during the application process.

The Benefits of WIC

Once enrolled, families can access a range of benefits through the WIC program. This includes receiving healthy supplemental foods such as whole grains, formulas, low-fat dairy products, eggs, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Participants are provided with a card that can be used at designated stores, making nutritious foods accessible and affordable. Additionally, formula for infants can be obtained at CVS.

Beyond Nutrition: Education and Support

WIC doesn't stop at providing nutritious foods. The program also offers valuable education and support on breastfeeding and healthy lifestyles for women, infants, and children. With the guidance of dedicated nutritionists, participants gain knowledge and skills to make informed choices about their health and well-being.

Connecting with WIC

For those interested in learning more about WIC and its offerings, reaching out to the program is simple. Contacting the Burke County Public Health Department at 828-764-9207 or visiting their office at 700 E Parker Road, Morganton, NC 28655, provides individuals with the opportunity to explore the resources available and take the first step toward a healthier future.

In conclusion, the Women, Infants, and Children program is not just about assisting; it's about empowering families to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Through education, nutrition, and support, WIC is a cornerstone of community well-being, making a tangible difference in the lives of countless individuals across Burke County and beyond.

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