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WIC: Investing in the future health of your child

Posted on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 8:45 am

WIC is not a hand-out. It is a hand-up, when you need it most. A lot of people believe that the federally funded WIC program is just a food giveaway but that is far from the truth.WIC, which stands for Women, Infants, and Children, is a food supplement nutrition program that encourages families to eat health and live a healthy lifestyle. WIC provides good food and a whole lot more. WIC offers families breastfeeding promotion, benefits to health foods, health and social service referrals, and tips for eating well to improve health. With WIC promoting a healthy lifestyle, less time and money is spent going to the doctors due to nutrition related illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

You must live in Tennessee and meet income guidelines. Income guidelines run high. A family of four, with a weekly income of $893 would qualify for WIC. Families eligible for SNAPS, Medicaid, or Families First are automatically eligible for WIC. Contact your local health department for more information about income guidelines.

WIC services are available to pregnant women, new moms up to six months after delivery, breastfeeding moms up to one year after delivery, infants, and children under the age of five. WIC is for all kinds of Tennessee families: married and single parents, working, or unemployed. If you are a father, mother, grandparent, college student, foster parent, or legal guardian of a child under five years, you might qualify for WIC.

As a WIC applicant, you will make an appointment to visit the WIC clinic/health department in your community. Growth measures and hemoglobin will be checked as one of the prerequisites for WIC. Personalized nutrition counseling will be provided to determine adequate food package for age and status. Once enrolled, you will receive food instruments which can be used at local grocery stores for cereal, juice, milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter, whole grain items, dry beans, fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, baby food, and infant cereal. WIC also has a variety of different food packages for some participants with special nutritional needs.

Providing healthy foods helps you and your family get the nutrition they need for healthy living and the children the nutrition they need for proper growth and brain development during the early years.

The WIC program’s unique combination of nutrition services makes it effective in contributing to healthy pregnancies, healthy babies, and helping young children be ready to learn. Invest in the health of your child’s future. WIC works!

For more information you can call the Grundy County Health Department at 931.692.3641 or call 1-800-DIAL-WIC (1-800-342-5942) or visit http://health.tn.gov/wic.