May Is WIC Month!

close up portrait of beautiful african mother and baby indoorsMaternal and Family Health Services (MFHS) is celebrating the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program during WIC Month this May 2015. During WIC Month, the state celebrates the positive impact WIC has on Pennsylvania families, and the dedication of WIC staff throughout the state that make this a successful health program.

WIC is the nation’s premier public health and nutrition education program with an overall goal to influence lifetime nutrition through positive health behaviors. WIC offers pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and children under age 5 access to nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, immunization record checks, iron deficiency screening, farmers’ market vouchers, and referrals for other health and social services.

Maternal and Family Health Services was one of the first agencies in Pennsylvania to administer a WIC program, and one of the first 100 WIC pilot projects in the United States. In 1974, the MFHS WIC Program served a monthly average of 634 participants. Today, the MFHS WIC network serves 57,000 participants each month at 32 WIC Nutrition Center locations in 16 counties. Across Pennsylvania, the WIC Program serves an average of 248,000 women, infants, and children throughout the 67 counties. Nationwide, WIC serves 8 million participants.

“WIC has evolved over the years and is now on the front lines of the national response to childhood obesity epidemic by using the nutrition education component of WIC to encourage healthy eating habits that last a lifetime,” said Bette Cox Saxton, President and CEO of Maternal and Family Health Services. “As MFHS celebrates the 41th anniversary of the WIC Nutrition Program, we seek continuous program improvement, look for opportunities to collaborate with community partners who share our mission of service and prevention, coordinate service delivery, and improve access to care.”

Pennsylvania WIC is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.