Celebrate health during National Public Health Week: April 3-9
For Immediate Release: April 6, 2011
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
NORTHFIELD – Honey & Oat bread from La Panciata Bakery helps feed more than half of all families with young children in Vermont, boosting nutrition and food security, as part of WIC – the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children.
Baker Glen Loati knew that the bread was popular when a WIC participant asked where she could buy more.
“Glenn really stepped up for the Health Department to serve the WIC families statewide,” said Donna Bister, WIC director for the Health Department. “The bakery takes a lot of pride in their product, and they’ve worked hard to get the recipe and ingredients just right.”
The bread has to meet new WIC food package requirements of the USDA to meet the nutritional needs of pregnant women, new mothers and children through age 5.
“It would have been easy to make 100 percent whole wheat bread that would fulfill all federal dietary requirements but, from the consumer standpoint, it is like eating a bale of hay or cardboard. It is very bland,” Loati said. “We added the honey and oats, and we wanted it to be good enough so that if a teething baby put a small piece in its mouth, she or he would like it and want more.”
Loati’s 20-employee business in Northfield ramped up production to serve WIC participants, making more than 11,000 loaves a month. His overall production output increased by 20 percent.
“It feels good,” he said, “to be able to provide a product that is not only good for people, but helps them out.”