GASTON COUNTY, N.C. – With the increase in food prices due to inflation, getting the proper nutrition has become a challenge for families. Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services offers hope for the those in our community who may struggle to put food on the table by providing access to nutritious foods.
WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, is a program for pregnant moms, babies, and young children to help reduce obesity and improve access to healthy foods. Traditionally, the program has provided on-site nutrition and breastfeeding education as part of the program, but for more than a year, these classes have been available online, along with phone counseling, as needed. In this way, WIC participants have access to their required nutrition education component online, in addition to receiving the monthly benefits to purchase food for their families.
“Everything costs more right now, including groceries, and that makes it more challenging for everyone to get much-needed resources, especially for those mothers who are pregnant or have young children,” said WIC Program Supervisor Kristi Shuping. “There are literally hundreds of families who could benefit from this program and the nutrition education and supplements it provides.”
WIC provides supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health care and community resources to participants.
To reduce barriers to using the program over the past several years, WIC began issuing eWIC cards to replace the traditional paper vouchers.
The WIC Program is available at the Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services, 991 W. Hudson Blvd. You may apply for the WIC Program in person Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For more information or if you have questions, please call 704-853-5100.
To be eligible, a person must:
- Be a pregnant woman; a breastfeeding woman who has had a baby in the last 12 months; a woman who has had a baby in the last six months; an infant; or a child up to the fifth birthday;
- Be a relative, such as a grandparent, or older adult who may be caring for or have custody of a child under the age of 5;
- Reside in North Carolina and in the health delivery area of the WIC agency;
- Meet the income eligibility scale – The gross annual household income cannot exceed 185% of the Federal poverty income guidelines – All Medicaid, Food and Nutrition Services (SNAP) and Work First recipients meet the WIC eligibility criteria; and
- Have an identified nutritional risk as determined by a health professional. Nutritional problems include anemia, poor growth, previous poor pregnancy outcome, inadequate dietary intake and other nutrition related health problems.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.