WIC program now supporting healthier food choices
Melissa Griffin is mother to four year-old twins and a two week-old baby, and makes it a priority to give them healthy foods. For years, Griffin has been involved with the WIC program, which offers food vouchers to those who meet certain income requirements. WIC is now expanding its options of healthy food.
Before the October 1st changes, WIC included products like milk, eggs, baby formula, and juice. Now, the vouchers will cover items like fruits and vegetables, whole grain rice and breads, and corn tortillas.
“Being able to give them those healthy options that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to give them just because of finances and other things like that, is really great,” Griffin said.
More than 6,500 people participate in the WIC program in New Hanover and Brunswick counties alone. WIC nutritionist Brooke Rhyne said, “People can’t afford fruits and vegetables because they’re so expensive, especially with the economy.”
These changes will help growing kids and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, get the nutrition they need.
“That’s what’s important, we want to make sure that the family is healthy and this program is allowing this to happen,” added Rhyne.
Griffin said, “Without WIC, there are a lot of things that we probably wouldn’t have in the house. We probably wouldn’t have juice all the time, we probably wouldn’t have as much milk and cheese and stuff like that, as we do.”
WIC also offers nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health referrals, as well as encourages families to choose low fat foods, increase fiber intake, and drink fewer sweetened beverages.
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