The Scotland County Health Department says there have been a number of changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
According to Cardra Burns, WIC program director, the changes should make obtaining services more convenient for clients.
Burns said the changes now in place allow children to be certified for participation for a period of one year at a time, instead of just a few months at a time.
“The eligibility determination process of income, identification, and residency will be completed annually, but vouchers for nutritious foods will still be granted for three months at a time”, she said.
Identification must be presented to receive vouchers.
Those eligible to participate in the WIC program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include pregnant women, breastfeeding women who have had a baby in the last 12 months, women who have had a baby in the last six months, infants and children up to age 5. Participants also must meet residency and income criteria and be identified as having a health risk factor.
Among its services, the program provides free supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding education and support, as well as referrals to health care and social services to participants.
“WIC is so much more than people realize, the nutrition education and healthy foods that WIC provides really give children a healthy start in life, which is so important,” Burns said.
The WIC office is open extended hours. One may apply to the WIC Program Mondays through Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Fridays from 7:30 to 11 a.m.
For information about WIC or to make an appointment, visit the Scotland County Health Department at 1405 West Boulevard, Laurinburg, or call 277-2440.