182017Sep

eWIC is Coming in 2018: Access Gets Easier to Support Healthy Families

eWIC is Coming in 2018
Access Gets Easier to Support Healthy Families

BURLINGTON- In March 2018 EBT for WIC will be available in Alamance County. EBT for WIC, or eWIC, is simple, safe and convenient! The card works like a debit card at the store checkout. Participants buy only the foods they need when they shop. Typically, participants won’t have to separate WIC foods from other purchases as they currently do. The system will tell the participant and the cashier whether it’s an authorized WIC food.

WIC (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program Women, Infants, and Children) is a program that provides supplemental nutrition for women who: are pregnant, have had a baby in the last 6 months, or are breastfeeding and have had a baby in the last 12 months, in addition to infants and children up to 5 years of age. To be eligible, the child or mother must: live in the state of North Carolina, live in a household with an income at or below 185% of the Federal poverty income guidelines (see chart below), and have a nutrition-related problem or be at risk of developing a nutrition-related problem.

According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants who did not receive WIC assistance were more likely to be underweight, short (length-for-age), and perceived as having fair or poor health when compared with those that received WIC assistance. It also showed that families who did not receive WIC assistance due to access problems had higher rates of food insecurity when compared to WIC participants. For young children, a lack of good nutrition can put them at risk for health problems and problems in school. WIC has been shown to lower the anemia rates of children (6 months to 5 years) and lead to higher rates of immunizations against childhood disease.

In addition to providing nutritious foods, WIC also provides nutrition and physical activity education, breastfeeding promotion/support, eating tips for mother/child, one-on-one nutrition counseling, as well as referrals to other health care services (Immunization Services, Prenatal Care, Well Child Health Care) and public assistance programs (Food and Nutrition Services, Medicaid, Potential Sources for Food Assistance). After receiving nutrition information, participants receive vouchers that can be exchanged for food at locally owned stores, retail grocery stores and pharmacies. WIC promotes healthy habits that encourage mothers to breastfeed, make family meals matter, and make overall healthier food choices.

Alamance County’s WIC breastfeeding support team understands the benefits and explains the basics of breastfeeding to expectant mothers. After meeting with members of our breastfeeding team, mothers have useful information to make informed decisions about how to properly feed their infants. They offer suggestions about how to continue breastfeeding upon returning to work or school, in addition to answering questions regarding breastfeeding.

For more information about WIC or to make an appointment please visit Alamance County WIC located at 319 N. Graham-Hopedale Rd, Burlington, NC, 27217 or call 336-570-6745. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm (by appointment until 6P the first four Mondays of every month, but closed on major holidays). WIC now offers appointments during lunch hours (12-1P). Walk-ins are welcome but participants are encouraged to make an appointment ahead of time to reduce waiting times.

You may also visit the WIC Web site at www.nutritionnc.com to learn more about WIC.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

To view the Federal Poverty Guidelines please visit the MedRelease_WIC Press Release- eWIC_9.13.17