September 8, 2009 |

WIC families get more options

According to Allegheny County Health Department officials, the federally-funded Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental food program will offer participating families more healthy food options starting in October.

In addition to the foods traditionally available such as milk, eggs, cheese, cereal and juices, WIC will begin providing families with vouchers redeemable for many other nutritious foods, including whole grains, soy milk, tofu, fresh fruits and vegetables, jarred baby foods, canned beans and pink salmon or sardines.

WIC provides food vouchers and nutrition counseling for pregnant women, postpartum mothers, breastfeeding mothers, and children under the age of five.

Nearly 100 local grocery stores accept WIC food vouchers, and about 16,700 County residents are served by the program. Eligibility is based on income and nutritional risk.

The income limits are an annual gross income of $20,036 for a family of one; $26,955 for 2; $33,874 for 3; $40,793 for 4; $47,712 for 5; $54,631 for 6; $61,550 for 7; and $68,469 for 8. Add $6,919 for each additional member beyond 8. The unborn infant is counted when a woman is pregnant.

For information about WIC and how to apply for benefits, call the Allegheny County Health Department WIC Program at 412-350-5801. If this number is a toll call or you live outside Allegheny County, call the statewide toll-free number, 1-800-WIC-WINS.

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