WIC families urged to use checks for free produce
The Allegheny County Health Department is reminding WIC families that checks for the Pennsylvania Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program expire on November 30.
WIC families are encouraged to take full advantage of the program and redeem all their checks for free produce before they expire. Health officials suggest using the checks before Thanksgiving, since most Farmers’ Markets close for the season a week before the holiday.
The list of produce available this fall includes apples, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, squash, grapes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, pears, plums, potatoes, pumpkins, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams and zucchini.
WIC is a federally funded program for pregnant or breastfeeding women, postpartum mothers and children under the age of five. Eligibility is based on income and nutritional risk.
The income limits are an annual gross income of $21,257 for a family of one; $28,694 for 2; $36,131 for 3; $43,568 for 4; $51,005 for 5; $58,442 for 6; $65,879 for 7; and $73,316 for 8. Add $7,437 for each additional member beyond 8. Unborn children are counted when the woman is pregnant.
Besides Farmers’ Market produce during the summer and fall, WIC provides regular year-round food benefits that include infant formula; infant cereal; milk; eggs; cheese; juice; cereal; peanut butter; whole grains, including bread, tortillas, oatmeal and rice; soy milk; tofu; jarred baby foods; dry or canned beans; canned tuna, sardines and pink salmon; and fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.
For more information about WIC and how to apply for benefits, call the County Health Department WIC Program at 412-350-5801. PA WIC is funded by the USDA.