Cache area ahead of nation with WIC program changes

Moms and children throughout Cache, Box Elder, and Rich counties will get a much-needed nutritional boost with newly-approved WIC food packages. The Women, Infants and Children program is adding fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to the food vouchers it distributes. “The WIC food packages haven’t changed significantly for over 30 years.” said Bonnie Farmer, Director of WIC for Bear River Health Department. “We are thrilled that WIC participants will now be able to receive fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains as part of their monthly WIC food package.” The new regulations are also designed to promote and support breastfeeding, accommodate cultural food preferences, and supply a better variety of foods, which include: • baby foods including fruits, vegetables, and baby food meat for exclusively-breastfed infants; • whole wheat bread, soft corn or whole wheat tortillas, and brown rice; • whole grain cereals; • canned salmon; • canned beans in addition to dried beans for ease of serving, and; • fresh fruits and vegetables. The federal government is requiring all states to begin issuing the new vouchers by October 1. But local WIC leaders will beat that deadline by three months, making the new foods available to families by July 1, 2009. WIC income guidelines have increased again this year, allowing more families to access the program. For more information on who qualifies for WIC please visit “We realize that this year has been especially hard economically. Many families meet the Federal WIC income guidelines and we’d encourage them to apply if they are interested.” Said Farmer. “For example, the maximum gross income for a family of four is $40,793 annually.” Please contact the WIC office by phone at 792-6451 or at 655 E 1300 North. Hours of service are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

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