On April 8, 2019, Governor Tom Wolf proclaimed May as WIC Month in Pennsylvania. This year marks the 45th year of improving nutrition-related health and birth outcomes for women, infants, and children throughout the commonwealth.
The Allegheny County Health Department opened the first WIC clinic and issued the first WIC voucher on May 28, 1974.
This 45th anniversary year will be remembered for the implementation of the Electronic Benefits Transfer (eWIC) card for Pennsylvania WIC families to use their WIC food benefits. The dedication of state and local agency WIC staff, along with our contractors, has brought this to fruition. WIC families involved with the pilot rollout in Blair, Centre, Clinton, and Lycoming counties are excited about eWIC and have expressed their satisfaction.
The state program ranks fifth in participation across the nation and serves more than 205,000 women, infants and children under age five each month at 248 locations throughout 67 counties. In addition to offering nutrition education and healthy foods to enable families to make lifelong healthy eating and lifestyle choices, the WIC program is deeply involved in addressing other areas of maternal and child health, including educating participants about the dangers of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use; reinforcing the importance of childhood immunizations and screening for lead poisoning, and promoting breastfeeding as the optimum choice for infant feeding.
Over the course of more than four decades, the WIC program has greatly benefited from the many health professionals, organizations, and community leaders who efforts and support have contributed to the success of the program. The American Academy of Pediatrics has acknowledged WIC as a key nutritional support program during the early years of a child’ life.
The Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County offers nutrition education, healthy foods, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and social services for pregnant and post-partum women and children up to age 5. For more information, visit: https://caplanc.org/our-programs/health-nutrition/women-infants-children/
About the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County – The Community Action Partnership is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, helping low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. CAP’s service profile interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that support families and individuals at every age and place in life, in the areas of education and child development, health and nutrition, household stability and safety and empowerment. For more information, visit www.caplanc.org.