WIC income guidelines increase.

July 25, 2016

WIC

#OceanaCountyNews     #WomenInfantsandChildrenProgram

HART — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has released its 2016 WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) income guidelines, effective July 1.

These new income guidelines increase the income eligibility threshold so that more women, infants and children can receive healthy WIC foods, states a press release from District Health Department #10. Now, a family of four can make an annual income up to $44,955 and qualify for WIC. This equates to an hourly wage of $21.61.

DHD#10 is encouraging pregnant and postpartum women, breastfeeding women and families with children up to age five years to sign up for WIC.

“WIC food options are continually changing and expanding to include healthier choices,” said Anne Bianchi, MS, RD- DHD#10 WIC program director. “WIC participants may use their benefits to receive low fat milk, cheese, eggs, 100 percet juices, cereals, dry peas/beans or peanut butter, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads or tortillas. As of July 11, low fat yogurt and whole wheat pasta has been added to the choices of food.”

Studies show that families who participate in WIC can save anywhere between $30 and $112 in their monthly grocery bill by utilizing their benefits.

Bianchi says, “In addition to the excellent food selection available through WIC and the savings to a monthly grocery bill, WIC participants receive so much more, such as education and referrals to other DHD#10 services and community resources.”

Additional benefits include:

• Women without health insurance can receive in-person assistance in enrolling in Medicaid or other health insurance programs through the Marketplace.

• Pregnant women (with Medicaid) are referred and screened by our Maternal Infant Health Program (home visiting program).

• Children are screened and, if needed, can receive immunizations at their appointment.

• Children less than three years can receive fluoride varnishes that help prevent tooth decay on newly erupting teeth.

• Children (with Medicaid) between the ages of 1-5 can receive a blood lead screening.

• Breastfeeding education and support by breastfeeding peer counselors and lactation specialists.

• Nutrition counseling by a Registered Dietitian.

“All of these services are available to eligible WIC participants, free of charge,” said Bianchi. WIC is a supplemental food and nutrition program for pregnant, breastfeeding, recently postpartum, infants and children to age 5, offered by District Health Department #10.
DHD#10 services Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana and Wexford counties.

For information on WIC eligibility visit www.dhd10.org, michigan.gov/wic, or call (800)262-4784.

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