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WIC: Working with Families to Promote Health & Wellness

Post Date:04/27/2016 9:30 a.m.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC), one of the most successful social service and public health initiatives in the nation, provides healthy food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and other health related referrals to women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have children under the age of five. The federally funded program has been proven effective in preventing and improving nutrition related health problems within its population. 

The WIC program works with families to promote breastfeeding and healthy habits like eating more fiber, fruit, vegetables, whole grain foods and choosing to drink low fat milk and water. Studies have shown participation in WIC to be associated with improved nutritional status of pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children as well as a reduction in low birth weight, pre-term delivery and fetal death. 

Participants benefit from a trained nutrition professional's one-on-one support by: 
-learning about the relationship between nutrition, physical activity, and good health. 
-receiving breastfeeding support, including breast pumps, free of charge 
-receiving tailored education and recommendations based on household situation, culture, ethnic preferences and nutritional needs. 
-benefitting from the community relationship established that aligns participants to other services such as immunizations, health or dental services, child care assistance or mental health services. 

In order to participate in the WIC program, persons must live in North Carolina, meet income eligibility guidelines and be at nutritional risk. A person receiving Medicaid or assistance from the NC Food and Nutrition Services (food stamps) automatically meets the income eligibility requirement. A nutritionist assesses for nutritional risk at no cost to the participant. 

Applicants can be seen at one of the WIC offices (Manteo, Kill Devil Hills or Frisco) to determine eligibility. If you believe that you or someone in your family may be eligible for WIC services, please call the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, an equal opportunity provider, at 252.475.5068 to schedule an appointment. 
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