New Income Levels for WIC Eligibility in North Dakota - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

New Income Levels for WIC Eligibility in North Dakota

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Income eligibility guidelines for the North Dakota Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) have increased, according Colleen Pearce, WIC Program director with North Dakota Department of Health.

The change is effective April 1, 2014 and means a family of four can earn up to $3,667 each month (or $849 each week for the household) and still meet income eligibility requirements.

The WIC Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has improved children's health, growth and development, and prevented health problems for almost 40 years. WIC benefits include quality nutrition and breastfeeding education; referrals to other services; and monthly access to foods rich in calcium, iron and protein to help bolster the health of women who are pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding, as well as babies and children younger than five.

"It's maybe $45 a month of specific foods that really can make a difference." says Fargo WIC Director Kim Vance.

WIC foods are designed to fit the nutrition needs of each WIC participant and include only milk, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, 100 percent fruit juice, beans, whole grains, cereals and fresh fruits and vegetables. WIC supports breastfeeding as the optimal way to feed infants, but infants who are not breastfeeding receive iron-fortified formula and older infants also receive baby food.

"Studies show that the proper nutrition WIC children receive helps them enter school ready to learn," said Colleen Pearce, director of the Department of Health's WIC Program. "WIC is a cost-effective, sound investment that helps ensure the health of our children."

To qualify for WIC, families must reside in North Dakota, meet the income requirements and have a nutritional or medical need for WIC services, such as anemia or inadequate diet. Need is determined by measuring the child's or woman's height and weight, performing a hemoglobin test, and taking his or her health and dietary history.

"We have open spots and people are more than welcome, all it takes is a phone call." Vance says.

To find out if they qualify, North Dakotans can call their local WIC agency or the state WIC office at 1.800.472.2286. Visit the web site by clicking here.
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