WIC families should pick up, use produce vouchers soon
The Allegheny County Health Department is urging families enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food Program to contact their WIC office and find out when they can come in to pick up their checks for the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
It is especially important for families with regular WIC appointments in July or August to come in for their Farmers Market checks before then in case the state budget is not approved by the July 1 deadline and issuance of the checks is suspended as it was in 2009.
The suspension lasted several weeks last year and as a result thousands of WIC recipients across the state were never issued or redeemed checks for free produce totaling $20 per person.
Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum and children two, three and four years of age enrolled in WIC are eligible for the checks, which are redeemable for Pennsylvania-grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating Farmers Markets and Farm Stands anywhere in the state. The children also receive seed packets along with tips for planting their own fruit/vegetable garden.
WIC is a federally funded program for pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum women and children under the age of five. 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. Unborn children are counted in determining family size when a woman is pregnant.
For information about WIC and how to apply for benefits, call the County Health Department 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. Information also is available at www.achd.net/wic.