The Indiana WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) Program has also been working hard for the last 43 years to help families have a healthier diet and life. WIC serves pregnant women, new mothers and children under the age of five. It also provides nutrition and breastfeeding education, nutritious foods (E-card to use at local grocery store) and referrals to other health and social service programs.
In Elkhart County, the WIC Program enrolled 10,555 individuals in FY 2016, and provides services to over 54% of all infants born in the county.
There are several program indicators that show how this wonderful program has made a positive difference in the lives of our families. Elkhart County has some of the best rates in these indicators when compared to other programs in the state. Recent results show:
- Breastfeeding initiation rates are much higher than state average in 2016 of 74%, Elkhart County was 82%.
- Obesity rates in WIC children 2-5 years old has been decreasing – 16.8% in 2015 to 16.3% in 2016
- Over 78% of our clients completed required nutrition education in Fiscal Year 2016.
We work hard to make a difference in our community. The WIC food package helps ensure that participants can easily make nutritious choices, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains to help them stay healthy. The food package also helps combat food insecurity. Food insecurity is the lack of access, at times, to enough food or nutritionally adequate foods. Approximately 12.7% of people (25,370 individuals) living in Elkhart County experience food insecurity. Of these individuals approximately 81% would be income eligible to participate in nutrition programs such as this one.
WIC also supports the Elkhart County economy by the sale of healthy foods. During FY 2016, over $4 million of WIC foods were purchased in 19 local grocery stores and pharmacies. Over $368,000 of this money was for the purchase of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. The Elkhart County Program also participated in the IN Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program during the summer of 2016. 980 households received $24 worth of vouchers to use at area Farmer’s Markets. A total of $11,576 was paid to farmers for locally grown produce.
If you would be interested in participating in the Elkhart County Program, you must live in Indiana, meet income guidelines and have a personalized nutritional assessment completed by a WIC health professional.
Feel free to contact us for more information.
Feeding America, Mind the Meal Gap.