The Washington State Department of Health is urging cash-strapped parents to check if they qualify for the WIC (Women Infants and Children) nutrition program, which can help them purchase nutritious foods and offers other health resources, including nutrition advice.
Parents can find out if they qualify and get other help at the 220 neighborhood clinics statewide through WIC – The Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
With just a phone call, Department of Health officials say, parents get an appointment in one to two weeks, and will receive WIC checks for each qualifying family member at their first appointment.
Who qualifies and what do they get?
- Depending on their income, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or just had a baby, and children under age five receive monthly WIC checks for $50 worth of healthy food.
- A pregnant woman with a 3-year-old, for example, would get about $100 in checks for WIC foods. They can use them in their own community grocery stores.
- They also get support and information about how to stay healthy.
Household income guidelines range from $2,268 for a family of two to $5,213 for a family of seven.
To learn more:
- For program details, call 1-800-322-2588.
- To find a WIC clinic and other helpful food and health resources, families can go to parenthelp123.org.
Facts about the Washington WIC program
- Pregnant women in the program have fewer premature and low-birth-weight babies.
- Babies and children on WIC are healthier and get more key nutrients like iron, protein, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
- Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the WIC budget goes to healthy foods for 312,000 mothers, babies, and children.
- Local communities receive over $120 million in food sales from WIC checks.
- Over 65 percent of infants born in rural counties are served by Washington WIC.
- Half of all infants statewide are served by WIC.
- Working families make up 65 percent of WIC participants, yet 66 percent live on incomes at the poverty level.
- More than 15,300 of WIC clients are women in the military, or women and children in a military family.
This post originally appeared on LocalHealthGuide, on November 17, 2011.