With school over for the year, students are ready for a summer full of fun. However, for many parents in Eau Claire County having their children home for the summer can mean higher grocery bills, especially when parents choose to purchase healthy foods.
The Eau Claire County WIC Nutrition Program (Women, Infants and Children) provides nutrition education and healthy foods to assist families with healthy eating lifestyles.
In the 2015 Community Health Assessment, healthy nutrition was rated as one of the top five areas of focus for our community. Many community members remarked that, “Some people can’t afford enough food or healthy food is too expensive.” Others said, “Not everyone knows how to eat healthy or has the skills to prepare healthy food.”
The WIC program helps families work to overcome both of these challenges to eating healthy.
Many working families qualify for the program. The program uses the same income guidelines as free and reduced-price lunches, so it’s a great program to join to help children continue to get healthy foods throughout the summer and year-round.
Eau Claire County residents who are pregnant and/or have children under the age of five may qualify to receive the following:
- Time with a WIC nutritionist who will talk about nutrition with the family.
- Help monitoring healthy growth and development of pregnant women and children.
- Support for breastfeeding.
- Assistance in buying healthy foods, such as milk, fruit juice, peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, cereal, whole grains, eggs, baby foods and some infant formulas.
“The most common way that participants of WIC hear about the program is from a family member or friend,” says Beth Draeger, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department’s public health nutrition supervisor. “Make sure to share information about WIC with anyone you know who may qualify to make sure that they are able to eat healthy this summer.”
If you would like to learn more or if you have questions regarding the WIC program, call the website at www.eauclairewi.gov/wic.