For young children, a lack of good nutrition can put them at risk for health problems and problems in school. North Carolina’s WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program helps low-income families meet the nutritional needs of pregnant and postpartum 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,” said WIC Manager Leigh Anne Carpenter. “WIC offers families nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods, and even healthcare referrals.”
The North Carolina WIC Program currently serves an average of 270,000 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.
WIC participants receive helpful one-on-one counseling with a nutrition professional. WIC staff will work with parents to make healthy food choices and other lifestyle choices to promote healthy living.
Breastfeeding promotion and support is also an important part of the WIC Program. All WIC agencies 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. Better educated moms mean healthier babies.
Medicaid beneficiaries who participated in WIC had lower infant mortality rates than those who did not participate. WIC participation also decreases the incidence of low birth weight and pre-term births.
“WIC is so much more than people realize,” said Carpenter. “The nutrition education and healthyfoods that WIC provides really give children a healthy start in life, which is so important.”
The WIC Program is available by appointment at four Charlotte locations.To make an appointment or to get more information,call 704-336-6500. You can also visit the state website at www.nutritionnc.com.
Contact: Mecklenburg County WIC Program at 704-336-6417.