WIC Helps Local Families Access Healthy Foods

Low-income families can get help putting healthy food on their tables through the Transylvania County WIC Program. Because good nutrition is so important for young children—even before birth—WIC helps families make healthy eating choices, stretch their grocery budgets and find other community resources to meet the nutritional needs of women who are pregnant, recently gave birth or are breastfeeding, as well as infants and children up to age 5. Eligible families can receive vouchers for fruits and vegetables; dairy sources such as milk, cheese, tofu and yogurt; juice; whole-grain cereal, bread, brown rice and tortillas; protein sources such as eggs, peanut butter, beans, peas and lentils; and infant formula. But WIC participants get more than just food. They also receive one-on-one education and counseling with a nutrition professional that help families learn how to buy and use healthier foods, as well as support with breastfeeding and even healthcare referrals. “WIC is so much more than people realize,” said WIC Director Beth Hyatt. “The nutrition education and healthy foods that WIC provides really give children a healthy start in life, which is so important.” WIC Income Guidelines (effective June 1, 2015 ) Family Size Annual Income Monthly Income 1 $21,775 $1,815 2 $29,471 $2,456 3 $37,167 $3,098 4 $44,863 $3,739 5 $52,559 $4,380 Statewide, WIC serves an average of 270,000 participants each month, and studies show that WIC works. Good nutrition reduces the risk for health problems and problems in school. 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. For pregnant women,...