DUNN — 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 helps low-income families meet the nutritional needs of pregnant and post-partum women, infants and children up to age five.
“While adding more fruits and vegetables to these families’ diets is an important part of our program, participants get more than food from WIC,” Kristen Christie, CommWell Heath’s Director of WIC, said. “WIC offers families nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods, and even healthcare referrals.”
The CommWell Health WIC Program currently serves an average of 1,162 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.
Breastfeeding promotion and support is an important part of the WIC Program. All CommWell Health WIC locations 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 participants receive helpful one-on-one counseling with a CommWell Health breastfeeding counselor.
Better educated moms mean healthier babies. Medicaid beneficiaries who participated in WIC had lower infant mortality rates than Medicaid beneficiaries who did not participate in WIC. WIC participation also decreases the incidence of low birth weight and pre-term births.
“WIC is so much more than people realize,” said Ennit Romero, Peer Breastfeeding counselor. “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 CommWell Health Newton Grove/Spivey’s Corner, McGee’s Crossroads and Salemburg.
For more information about WIC or to make an appointment please call 910-567-5662 or visit www.commwellhealth.org. You may also visit the WIC website at www.nutritionnc.com. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.