For Immediate Release: October 10, 2022
Karen Flynn | Vermont Department of Health
Vermont WIC Program Celebrates WIC National Enrollment Week
Join the celebration and #StartWithWIC – October 10 - 14, 2022
BURLINGTON, VT – During WIC National Enrollment Week, the Vermont WIC Program is spreading the word about the nation’s premier public health nutrition program.
WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Established in 1974, WIC provides federal grants to states to provide nutrition education, supplemental foods, and health care referrals for low and moderate-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum individuals, as well as infants and children who have a health or nutrition need.
“WIC has a unique and important role in the nutrition security and health of Vermont families with young children, including as part of the social safety net that helps lift families out of poverty and hunger,” said Karen Flynn, WIC program director with the Vermont Department of Health. “We want people to know that the Vermont WIC Program is here to support them and their families.”
Flynn said that Vermont’s WIC program provides nutrition education and support to 11,286 individuals (or 7,674 families), while also enabling them to save on groceries so they can have more to spend on other things their family needs.
“There is no downside for families who are eligible to enroll in the program, which makes WIC National Enrollment Week a perfect time for Vermonters to learn more about the benefits, and our staff are ready to help,” said Flynn.
One of Vermont’s WIC parents is Monica. She said “to have those extra funds for shopping, it expands our food budget a little bit more each month. The WIC benefits are setting my kids up for healthy development and just healthy, happy lives.” Kaitlin, another WIC participant said, “WIC provides us with extra groceries every month which takes off a little stress, and I have options to feed my children healthier food, which is something that we’re very passionate about. I just want them to have access to quality nutrition to help their bodies grow so it’s nice to have WIC to support us.”
In addition to providing access to nourishing foods and nutrition education, WIC empowers families with breastfeeding/chestfeeding support, and referrals to other health and nutrition services – all free of charge to those who qualify.
Vermonters can learn more about the program at healthvermont.gov/WIC. Families can start their application to WIC online, by texting VTWIC to 855-11, or by calling their local WIC office. Learn more at our “Apply to WIC” webpage, healthvermont.gov/applytowic.
In Vermont, WIC is administered through the department’s 12 local health offices. To find the location and contact information for the office that serves your area, visit healthvermont.gov/local.
During WIC National Enrollment Week, Vermont WIC will reach out to encourage enrollment through social media with #StartWithWIC, web information, and in partnership with health care providers and community organizations.
Congress recently acted to continue WIC’s increased fruit and vegetable benefit that has been in place since April 2021. The benefit will increase this month to allow for inflation. For each WIC participant in a family per month, this will provide $25 for children, $44 for pregnant and postpartum individuals, and $49 for breastfeeding individuals, for fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables. This will contribute to savings in WIC families’ food budgets and provide the many health benefits of more and varied fruits and vegetables.
Although Vermont WIC conducted most appointments and services remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is beginning to welcome back families in person and offers video and phone appointment options to keep participants and staff safe, while adding choice and convenience to make participation easier.
For information about Vermont WIC and to apply, visit healthvermont.gov/wic or call 1-800-464-4343.
Find the Local Health Office that serves your community at healthvermont.gov/local.
For more information about referring to WIC, visit healthvermont.gov/children-youth-families/wic/resources-health-professionals.
The WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The WIC program was established in 1974 to provide Federal grants to states for nutrition education, supplemental foods, and health care referrals for low and moderate-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum individuals, as well as infants and children who have a health or nutrition need.
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