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St. Charles County WIC services expand, go digital

The St. Charles County Department of Public Health’s Women, Infants and Children Program [WIC] has announced a change to its service delivery protocol.

“During this unprecedented event, many are finding it difficult to provide nutritional foods for their family,” said Eva Obirek, St. Charles County WIC program manager. “We’re changing the way we deliver our services to help our current, and newly eligible, clients receive some of the help they may need and offering it in a way that helps to reduce the spread of this disease.”

WIC provides participating mothers and children with nutritional foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding counseling and support, and referral for medical services through this free program.

Until further notice, St. Charles County WIC staff will complete appointments remotely — answering questions through phone/email communication, collecting correspondence via digital methods, delivering food instruments through mail and providing breast pumps or other supplies as needed through drop-off collections.

Since mothers and their children have different nutritional requirements, the program tailors food options for the individual and focuses on healthy choices. Foods offered through the program are low in sugar and are good sources of recommended nutrients like vitamins A, C and D; iron; protein; and calcium.  Due to product delivery shortages in some Missouri communities, the eligible food categories and specific food products has been expanded statewide through May 31, 2020.

“Families that may not have been eligible for WIC services previously may now qualify because of a job loss or a cut in hours worked,” Obirek added. “Those who may be in this situation right now are encouraged to reach out to our staff for assistance. Research shows that WIC participation improves the health of mothers and their children.”

To qualify, St. Charles County WIC participants must meet income guidelines, be a Missouri resident and be at “nutritional risk” as determined by a health professional. Income eligibility guidelines are based on gross household income.

For questions about these service changes in St. Charles County or joining the program, please email wichealth@sccmo.org or call (636) 949-7402. For information about the services WIC provide, visit sccmo.org/WIC.

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