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Wic Program

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A Summary of the Woman, Infants, Children Nutritional Services Program
Margaret Russell

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutritional Services is a federal program that provides health care and proper nutrition to low income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women during a crucial time for both mothers and babies. The mission of WIC is to “safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.” (Food and Nutrition Service, 2010).
Services are provided through various health clinics, hospitals, schools, community centers, and public housing centers. In the United States alone, WIC operates from 1,900 local agencies in 10,000 clinic sites, within state health departments (Food and Nutrition Service, 2010). Most state WIC programs provide vouchers that participants use at authorized food stores. A variety of state and local organizations cooperate in providing food and health care benefits to mothers. Currently, 46,000 stores in the United States accept WIC vouchers (Food and Nutrition Service, 2010). Through recent studies, it is proven that a substantial amount of pregnant women do not receive adequate nutrition and health care due to their lack of income. Socioeconomic status is connected to an individual's chance of survival at birth and during their first year. Women from lower socio-economic groups tend to have shorter pregnancies and are more likely to have babies with lower birth weights and have higher rates of mortality, all of which can have an effect on the child's development. (Ross, 2003).
Proper nutrition during pregnancy is essential to the unborn child's well-being. In order to obtain optimal physical health and well-being, the pregnant mother must take in adequate...

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