A signed contract between the Phelps/Maries County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) will allow the local health department to continue WIC (Women, Infant and Children) services for the federal fiscal year 2013.
Under the terms of the contract, the Phelps/Maries County Health Department will be able to serve 1,556 people eligible for WIC every month.
WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program providing services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to their fifth birthday based on nutritional risk and income eligibility.
The primary services provided include health screenings, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and referrals to health care. Nutritious supplemental food is provided at no cost to participants.
To be eligible for WIC, applicants must have an income of less than or equal to 185 percent of the poverty level and be determined by a health professional to be at nutritional risk. Migrants families are also eligible.
WIC supplemental food packages are specially chosen to provide foods high in protein, iron, calcium and vitamins A and C. Eligible women and children receive fortified milk, cheese, eggs, whole grain bread products, hot or cold cereals, 100 percent fruit juices and fresh and frozen vegetables.
The WIC program recommends breastfeeding and provides breastfeeding support, baby food and infant cereal. For women who cannot or choose not to breastfeed, infants may receive supplemental iron-fortified formula.
WIC participants obtain their food by redeeming food checks for specific items at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
Studies confirm that pregnant women who enroll in WIC during the early months of pregnancy have fewer low birth weight babies, experience fewer infant deaths, see the doctor earlier in pregnancy and eat healthier.
People interested in applying for WIC or need more information should contact the Phelps/Maries County Health Department at 573-458-6025 or 573-458-6026 or 1-800-301-4942.
WIC clinics are offered at the Rolla clinic every business day, the St. James clinic the first Thursday of each month and the Vienna clinic the fourth Tuesday of every other months.