(RUTHERFORD COUNTY) Due to the federal government shutdown, the WIC program will not be handing out their nutritional coupons this month. WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC is a supplemental food and nutrition education program that has been operating in North Carolina since 1974. What began as a small pilot program serving approximately 4,500 individuals a months is now a major program serving over 270,000 mothers and children each month in North Carolina.
WIC participants receive nutrition education, supplemental foods, breastfeeding promotion/support, and referrals to community and health agencies to improve their diets and reduce their chances of health problems caused by poor nutrition. They are given vouchers that they redeem at participating grocery stores to obtain foods.
About 80 percent of eligible clients have received benefits for October. Officials with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services say they don’t have enough money to issue more vouchers.
Locally donations of formula and baby food can be dropped at Rutherford County Annex Building Main St., Rutherfordton, Sisters in Christ Ministry behind Grannys Bakery in Spindale, or The Ultimate Basement in Spindale. Many use Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder or Gerber Soothe Powder, but all brands accepted. Also jars of baby food and boxes of baby cereal are welcome. Please lend a hand if you are able.