Nutrition program benefits new families
The Snohomish Health District has space available for newcomers to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program, helping new moms and their children get a good start on healthy eating.
“Many families are eligible for WIC and don’t know it,” said Judy Ward, WIC program manager at the health district’s Everett clinic.
In Snohomish County, WIC clinics served 45 percent of infants born last year. Of the families served by WIC, 64 percent were working families.
Kathy Adamson, the health district’s Lynnwood WIC Clinic manager, said the agency’s current caseload is 8,260 individuals, but it could be much higher.
“We believe many of the families challenged by this recession are not aware of the benefits of this program,” she said.
WIC is a federal nutrition program for low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, and for children up to age 5. A qualifying household of two can receive up to $100 a month to buy WIC-approved foods such as baby food, cheese, eggs, and whole-grain products.
Snohomish Health District’s WIC clinics also offer nutrition classes, breastfeeding support, and consultation with a nutritionist, public health nurse, or dental hygienist.
If you think you might be eligible for WIC services, call your local clinic for an appointment:
• Lynnwood WIC Clinic, 425-258-8400
6101 200th St. S.W., Lynnwood, WA 98036
• Everett WIC Clinic, 425-252-5303
3020 Rucker Ave., Suite 100, Everett, WA 98201
Both clinics are open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Pregnancy Aid also provides WIC services in Snohomish County. For a list of WIC clinics statewide, contact Within Reach at 1-800-322-2588 or www.withinreachwa.org.
A family of four can earn up to $3,554 per month and be income eligible for WIC. A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, automatically meets the income eligibility requirement for WIC.
You must be a state resident, but U.S. citizenship is not required.
As a supplemental program, WIC is not intended to meet all of its clients’ nutritional needs. It is a short-term prevention program designed to improve lifetime nutrition and health behaviors.
Studies show that WIC reduces premature births, improves birth weight and brain development in infants, and increases breastfeeding rates and likelihood of medical care.
This time of year, clients can get special WIC checks good at participating farmers markets. In 2011, 52,500 WIC families bought Washington-grown fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers markets and farm stores.
For more information about WIC, visit the Snohomish Health District website at www.snohd.org or the state Department of Health at www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/WIC.