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“Three Questions” with Misha Marvel, Child Nutrition Program Specialist, Hunger Solutions:
Most of us have heard of WIC, but can you share how the WIC program supports families?
Good nutrition during pregnancy and in the first years of a child’s life is very important. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides healthy food, breastfeeding support, nutrition counseling, and referrals to other services that can help women and young children in need. WIC is for pregnant women, postpartum moms, breastfeeding moms and children up to their 5th birthday. Dads, grandparents, and caregivers, including foster parents, can also apply for children in their care. Research has found women who use WIC while pregnant have healthier births, reduced infant mortality and better infant feeding practices. It has also shown that children on WIC have diets that are more nutritious, which helps them do better in school. WIC can improve lifetime health for women, their infants, and young children, and many moms don’t even know they are eligible!
We hear there’s a new way to shop with WIC now. Can you help us understand?
It’s true; shopping just got easier with eWIC! WIC benefits are now given electronically on an eWIC card account instead of paper checks. Parents and caregivers can use their eWIC card just like a debit card at the WIC-approved store’s register to buy their WIC-approved foods. These foods can also be purchased in more than one shopping trip, and when it works best for them. Participants just need to be sure to use all of their benefits before they expire on the last day of their 30 day benefit cycle. WIC participants can also download and use the free WIC2Go app on their smartphone. WIC2Go helps participants find WIC-approved stores, and WIC Clinics, scan foods at the market to see if they are WIC-approved, check their WIC benefit balance, and view their next
What would be the next step for someone who thinks they would benefit from WIC services?
In 20 counties across the state, the WIC Help New York program can help. WIC Help Specialists provide one-on-one services to connect potential applicants to the WIC program. Specialists can tell someone if they may be eligible, and help them set up and prepare for their first appointment at a WIC clinic near them. It is free and confidential. Outside of the 20 counties where WIC Help Specialists are located, anyone can call the Growing Up Healthy Hotline at 1-800-522-5006 and ask for help with WIC.
The HVCI continued its webinar series in May with presentations on the Pyramid Model, Aspire (NYS’s early childhood workforce registry) and maternal depression. You can view the archived recordings at www.nyshomevisitcoord.com.
June 12 at 10:00:
Understanding Infant Mental Health (two parts)
Part I: This one-hour webinar will provide an overview of infant mental health—what it is, what to expect, and how to teach parents about social-emotional development. Presenter: Laura Krug (Zero to Three/HealthySteps)
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6229360486372895490
Webinar ID: 679-135-579
June 19 at 10:00:
Understanding Infant Mental Health (two parts)
Part II: This one-hour webinar will focus on HealthySteps, a program that co-locates mental health specialists in pediatric practices. Presenter: Laura Krug (Zero to Three/HealthySteps)
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1366243646463879682
Webinar ID: 811-763-179
We are also pleased to announce that, with funding from the federal Preschool Development Grant through the NYS Office of Children and Families, we were able to hire a full-time HVCI Coordinator. Amanda O’Brien joined us this month!
We have also contracted with several nonprofit organizations around NYS to help organize regional summits. Stay tuned for information on this exciting project, which officially launches this month.
The Tompkins County Enough Abuse Campaign (EAC), led by the Advocacy Center, has once again ramped up efforts in their local middle schools to make sure students are trained on recognizing and responding to child sexual abuse. Since March, 237 middle school students have taken part in the “It’s Not Just Jenna” module during their health classes.
This module is an 18-minute video accompanied by a post-viewing discussion about the lessons Jenna’s story teaches us about child sexual abuse and how to prevent it. When asked what they like best about the lesson, one student stated that “It helps me to understand better how to handle a situation like this even if it isn’t you and it’s one of your friends”. Another student added, “I liked how it helped us better understand abuse and to know what to do if that happens. Now if I see that happening I know what to do. I know to call the Advocacy Center.”
If you are interested in bringing the EAC campaign to your school or community, please contact Brittany at firstname.lastname@example.org