What is WIC?
WIC is an important nutrition program providing benefits of more than $60 million per year to approximately 100,000 women, infants, and children in Colorado. Services include:
· Health and nutrition evaluations;
· Education on the importance of good nutrition;
· Referrals to other community services, such as health and dental care, well child clinics, and immunizations;
· Support and counseling for breastfeeding mothers; and
· WIC checks for nutritious supplemental foods.
WIC programs lower Medicaid costs by helping to combat poor nutrition at an early stage, rather than treating the effects once it becomes more serious. For every dollar spent on WIC, up to $3 is saved in medical costs. The benefits of WIC participation include:
· Women participating in WIC give birth to healthier babies.
· Children in WIC are better immunized and are more likely to have regular health care.
· Health care costs are reduced due to the decrease in the number of low birth weight babies.
In addition to Colorado WIC’s “Farm to Family”, there are also a number of very successful community-level projects across the state in which the local WIC agencies collaborate with community organizations and producers. Through these partnerships, funding from various local sources has supported activities such as the provision of coupons for WIC families that may be redeemed at farmers markets. In these cases, local WIC agencies act as distribution centers for the sponsoring organizations and work to connect WIC families with local producers.