WIC program to expand services

July 21, 2022

WIC program to expand services

MOBILE, Ala. — The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) special supplemental nutrition program will once again offer services on Saturdays starting on August 6. This had been suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This clinic will be available from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at our Keeler Memorial Building location (251 North Bayou Street in Mobile) and will provide the same services as our Monday to Friday clinics,” said Claris Leigh Perkins, MPH, RDN, LDN, the District Nutrition Director.

“If a participant so chooses, they may schedule an appointment on Saturday to certify, pick up breastfeeding supplies or special formula, and have a chance to speak with a nutritionist. This is a service we previously offered and are happy to resume offering as an option for our participants.”

Participants in the program receive free nutrition education and breastfeeding peer counseling support. Food benefits are redeemable at WIC-authorized stores throughout Alabama and are issued through electronic food benefits statewide.

WIC participants must have both limited income and nutritional needs. Families who receive Medicaid, SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps), or Family Assistance (formerly known as TANF or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) already meet the income qualifications for WIC. Families who do not qualify for these programs may be eligible for WIC because of its higher income limits.

Under the latest federal poverty guidelines, more families may be eligible for the program. WIC is open to participants with incomes up to 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. In addition, if you or another family member has lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may also be eligible for WIC.

To be eligible for WIC, one must be a pregnant woman, breastfeeding woman, postpartum woman, or a child less than 5 years of age. Pregnant women and children 1 to 5 years old may receive yogurt, milk, eggs, cheese, juice, cereal, whole grains, beans or peanut butter, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Breastfeeding women may get all these foods, canned tuna or salmon, milk, cheese, and eggs. Infants may receive infant formula, if not fully breastfed, and infant cereal, fruits, and vegetables after 6 months of age.

The Mobile County Health Department’s Office of Nutrition Services manages the local WIC program. A monthly average of 11,272 participants received WIC food instruments during the Fiscal Year 2021.

To qualify, a person must meet the income guidelines, be a resident of Alabama, and have been seen by a health professional at the WIC clinic. For more information, visit https://mchd.org/wic or call 251-690-8829.