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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

WIC program sees familiar face return

Friday, June 18, 2010

Since 1981, the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) has existed in Clay County.

In 1981, then Clay County Public Health Nurse Nan Engle helped write a grant in order to get the program off the ground.

Close to a year ago, Engle came full circle as she returned to the program to serve as its coordinator.

"I was here for the beginning," Engle said. "The former coordinator retired and the opportunity came up (to come back)."

Engle served as the public health nurse for 16 years before leaving the position. However, for several years, she has served communities in the health field.

Coming back to WIC meant a lot to Engle.

"I've always kind of been involved with public health," she said. "When I did the 16 years as the county nurse, I met a lot of the county. I've seen some familiar faces."

According to Engle, WIC is a supplemental food and nutrition program that provides families free nutritious foods, including cereals, juices, milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and formula.

There are five major criteria people must meet to qualify for the program (see info box).

Engle said the program also provides height and weight measurements in addition to hemoglobin tests to help ensure children and mothers have enough iron in their systems.

She said the organization, located at 972 W. Craig Ave., Brazil, averages approximately 1,000 clients monthly.

"It's very cyclical," she said. "At one point, participation will go down. Right now, I'd say it's on a bit of an upswing, but not a great increase in participation."

Funding for the program comes through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Engle said those interested in the program must make an appointment. The agency is open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

During the appointment, associates with the agency determine eligibility.

Engle added the agency does reach out through other organizations, including daycares and schools.

"I'm pleased," Engle said of what the agency offers to the community. "I'm sure there are some people that aren't aware (of the program), but since we've been around so long, I feel, hopefully, people know about it."

Benefits of WIC

WIC (Women, Infants and Children Program) benefits the following:

* Those who have children under the age of 5,

* Those who are pregnant,

* Those who are a new or breastfeeding mother, or

* Those who receive Medicaid, Food Stamps or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

In addition, WIC supports those who meet the following income guidelines:

Household SizeGross MonthlyGross Yearly

Note: Unborn babies count as household members

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