The WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Department at the Newton County Health Department received some good news recently.

The WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Department at the Newton County Health Department received some good news recently.

“We renewed our contract for 2015 fiscal year, which started Oct. 1 until Sept. 30 of next year,” said Pam Link, coordinator of the local WIC Department. “WIC is federally funded supplemental food program, it is for pregnant, breast feeding women and infants and children up to the age of 5. They must meet financial income guidelines. If they would qualify income wise, they would come in for an appointment and meet with nutritionists. They would get WIC checks to take to local stores, those checks they would get (are for) milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, juice, dried beans, peanut butter, whole wheat bread, fresh fruits and vegetables. Also when they come in for their appointment, they are either scheduled for a nutrition education class or they meet one-on-one with our nutritionist for nutrition counseling, also breast feeding counseling.”

Under the terms of the contract the Newton County Health Department will be able to serve 1,568 persons eligible for WIC every month.

Persons interested in enrolling in the WIC program may call the Newton County Health Department, 812 W. Harmony St., at 451-3743. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Participants are seen by appointment.  

The primary services provided are health screening, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and referrals to health care.  Supplemental food is provided at no cost to participants. Program eligibility is partially based on income guidelines.  Income must be at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The maximum monthly income levels for a family of three is $3,051, and for a family of four the maximum monthly income level is $3,677.

The local WIC program has been in existence for a long time.

“I started working here in April 1982 and we started WIC in Newton County in July 1982,” she said. “So for more than 32 years, we have been meeting the needs of our lower income families in Newton County.”

Not only does the department see WIC clients at the health department, but Link noted they have another option.

“We have clinic one day a month at Seneca for residents in that area,” she said. “And we are hoping within a year or so, we want to try to have a clinic one or two days a month in Granby.”

Overall, Link said the WIC department is pleased to receive this grant.

“We are happy to continue to seeing the WIC clients of Newton County,” she said.