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More families could be eligible for WIC program

Published 1:34pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chilton County families may qualify for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Women who are pregnant or just had a baby within the past six months, breastfeeding or the parent or guardian of a child up to age 5 are encouraged to apply for WIC at the Chilton County Health Department.

Under the recently released 2013 federal poverty guidelines, more families may be eligible for the program.

WIC is open to participants with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

The table below indicates those who qualify:

Family size—Annual Income—Weekly Income

1—$21,257—$409

2—$28,694—$552

3—$36,131—$695

4—$43,568—$838

5—$51,005—$981

WIC participants must have both a limited income and a nutritional need.

Families who receive Medicaid, SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) or Family Assistance (formerly known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) already meet the income qualifications for WIC. Even families who do not qualify for these three programs may be eligible for WIC.

A single mother and her baby can have an income up to $552 per week (before taxes are deducted) and qualify for WIC. A husband and wife with three children can have a total weekly income of as much $981 (before taxes) and meet the income requirements to participate in WIC.

WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutrition education and supplemental foods during the early, formative years. Collective findings of studies, reviews and reports by government and nongovernment groups show that the WIC Program is cost effective in protecting and improving the health and nutritional status of women, infants and children.

Alabama Department of Public Health WIC director Carolyn Battle said in a release,

“We especially want to reach women during their pregnancies because good prenatal nutrition is important in promoting healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes. Also, we know that WIC can help Alabama families develop healthy eating and activity habits that will last a lifetime.”

For more information, contact the Chilton County Health Department at (205) 755-8407.

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