More families than ever are finding it hard to put healthy food on their dinner tables. For young children, a lack of good nutrition can put them at risk for health problems and problems in school. North Carolina’s WIC program, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, helps low-income families meet the nutritional needs of pregnant and post-partum women, infants and children up to age 5.
“While adding more fruits and vegetables to these families’ diets is an important part of our program, participants get more than food from WIC,” Laken Royall, WIC supervisor for Yadkin County, said. “WIC offers families nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods, and even healthcare and community referrals.”
The North Carolina WIC Program serves an average of 270,000 participants each month. Studies show that children who participate in WIC are more likely to receive regular preventive health services and are better immunized than children who did not participate in WIC.
WIC participants receive helpful one-on-one counseling with a nutrition professional. Group nutrition classes may also be offered by trained staff on topics ranging from healthy drink choices to grocery shopping on a budget.
Breastfeeding promotion and support is an important part of the WIC Program. All WIC agencies have trained staff ready to assist moms in making informed decisions about how they feed their babies. WIC also teaches moms the basics of breastfeeding.
“WIC is so much more than people realize,” said Royall. “The nutrition education and healthy foods that WIC provides really give children a healthy start in life, which is so important.”
The WIC Program is available at 217 E. Willow St., Yadkinville, on the upper floor of the Yadkin County Human Services Agency. Families may apply for WIC on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Many working families and those on unemployment may be eligible for WIC. Those receiving Medicaid, Food Stamps, or Work First are also eligible for WIC.
For more information about WIC or to make an appointment, visit Yadkin County Human Services Agency or call 336-849-7910. Visit the Yadkin County Human Services Facebook page for more information or the WIC website at www.nutritionnc.com.