Wednesday, State Senator Judy Schwank toured and met with the staff at the Berks Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Nutrition Center at 1110 C Rockland Street, Reading, PA 19604.
WIC has improved the nutrition and health of families in Pennsylvania since 1974 by providing access to healthy foods, nutritional services, breastfeeding support, health care and social service referrals. Through WIC, pregnant women, mothers, and caregivers of infants and young children learn about good nutrition to keep themselves and their families healthy. All WIC services are free to women, infants and children who are Pennsylvania residents, at nutritional risk and meet the income guidelines.
The 100 percent federally funded program is the cornerstone for producing a healthy mother and baby. However, PA’s WIC program has been in decline for many years, despite a critical need for the program to grow, evolve, and connect families with a broad array of social, mental, education and other healthy support programs. Staff members cite stagnating enrollment and funding as one of the causes.
“The opportunity I had to meet with that staff members who deliver this resource to our community everyday was invaluable,” Schwank said. “The staff shared some great ideas with me on how we can grow WIC and make sure we are engaged with the people that could benefit most from this service. I’m not sure everyone knows this is available, so spreading the word is vital. A person’s income should never decide the quality of care they receive, especially not babies and children. I’m a firm believer that all children deserve a healthy start. I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated team at WIC and will support them in any way I can in the state legislature.”
For more information on the WIC program and information on how to apply, call 1-800-WIC-WINS. You can also apply online at www.pawic.com/OnlineApplication.aspx.