WIC program now with Ron Wood Family Resource Center
The Ron Wood Family Resource Center recently added the Women, Infants and Children program to their home.
The WIC program becomes the third public service agency assisting low-income families at the location, coming in on the heals of Family to Family Connection. All services offered are free.
“We took (the program) over by contract from the state,” said Sharlea Payne, executive director of the Ron Wood Family Resource Center. “When we did, we knew we wanted it to be more people-friendly.
“Many people are intimidated by the bureaucracy, red tape and forms that go along with programs. We still have the forms, but we have made it a more friendly process.”
The WIC program is specifically designed to supplement a family’s nutritional needs. The initial certification interview takes about one hour and is based on income and nutritional risk. Follow-up appointments are much shorter. There are three Spanish-speaking, full-time staff members to assist Hispanic clients.
“Absolutely, pregnant women should set up an appointment to assess a baby’s nutritional needs before and after the birth,” Payne said.
Pregnant and postpartum women and their children through the age of 5 are eligible, Payne added.
The WIC program serves 1,000-1,200 clients per month. It offers breastfeeding counseling, nutritional education and a supplemental nutritional program. Vouchers are given for specific foods, like eggs and milk, depending on the needs of the child. The need is determined through a simple blood test.
“It is not on the same guidelines as Medicaid or food stamps, but is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. Those on Medicaid or food stamps are still eligible for WIC.”
Payne said she is sure there are many who are eligible for the various programs who just don’t know about them.
“Those who know about one of our services may not know about the other. Now it’s like a one-stop shopping spot. Please don’t be embarrassed – do it for the sake of the children.”
Family to Family Connection offers infant workshops several times a month from 10-11:30 a.m. All workshops are free, as are all services from the resource center. RSVPs are requested. Toddler Time – Active Parenting is available for children ages 12-28 months and 29-47 months; pre-registration is required.
“We want to stress dads are welcome, too,” Payne said. “They’re helping make the meals and buy groceries, they’re just as much help as a mom.
“It’s not just a mommy thing. Dads can sit in the rocker just the same and give that love, make that connection. Dads need to be healthy, too.”
Contact reporter Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.
If you go
What: Ron Wood Family Resource Center, Family to Family Connection and WIC program
Where: 212 E. Winnie Lane, next to JJ’s Ear Candy in the Crossroads Shopping Center
When: Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays