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WIC Program Provides Nutrition Services
September 03, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2013
Contact: Communications Office
TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recognizes the efforts made by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to help meet the nutritional needs of families and support women breastfeeding their infants. WIC serves approximately 490,000 Floridians every month through providing crucial nutritional services.
Since 1974, WIC has provided essential services to women, infants, and children. The results of this program have saved public and private health care dollars. For every dollar spent on the prenatal WIC program, the associated savings in Medicaid costs during the 60 days after birth ranged from $1.77 to $3.13.
“Many working families benefit from the WIC program,” said Debbie Eibeck, Bureau Chief of WIC Program Services in Florida. “We work hard to make sure that eligible individuals know about and use the valuable services that WIC provides.”
Early participation in WIC continues to show positive influences on early development and birth outcomes and reduces the probability of low-birth weight. WIC participation is associated with increased breastfeeding initiation. The percentage of Florida WIC infants ever breastfed has steadily increased from 75.9 percent in June 2012 to 77.0 percent in June 2013.
To be eligible for WIC, you must be a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, a woman up to six months postpartum, an infant, or a child under age five. In addition, the applicant must have a low or moderate income, live in Florida, and have a nutritional need that can be helped by WIC foods, along with nutritional education and counseling. WIC also provides breastfeeding support and referrals for health care. Nutritionists work directly with mothers to educate them about what is best for their baby and their family’s nutrition needs while encouraging them to build healthy habits.
Florida WIC is administered through the Florida Department of Health and is available in all 67 counties. To learn more about the WIC Program or to find out if you are eligible, call toll-free at 1-800-342-3556 or visit your local WIC office by finding the location here: www.FloridaWIC.org.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.