May is WIC Month in Pennsylvania

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Maternal and Family Health Services (MFHS) is celebrating the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program during WIC Month this May 2015. During WIC Month, the state celebrates the positive impact WIC has on Pennsylvania families, and the dedication of WIC staff throughout the state that make this a successful health program.

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WIC has evolved over the years and is now on the front lines of the national response to childhood obesity epidemic by using the nutrition education component of WIC to encourage healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

Maternal and Family Health Services (MFHS) is celebrating the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program during WIC Month this May 2015. During WIC Month, the state celebrates the positive impact WIC has on Pennsylvania families, and the dedication of WIC staff throughout the state that make this a successful health program.

WIC is the nation’s premier public health and nutrition education program with an overall goal to influence lifetime nutrition through positive health behaviors. WIC offers pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and children under age 5 access to nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, immunization record checks, iron deficiency screening, farmers’ market vouchers, and referrals for other health and social services.

Maternal and Family Health Services was one of the first agencies in Pennsylvania to administer a WIC program, and one of the first 100 WIC pilot projects in the United States. In 1974, the MFHS WIC Program served a monthly average of 634 participants. Today, the MFHS WIC network serves 57,000 participants each month at 32 WIC Nutrition Center locations in 16 counties. Across Pennsylvania, the WIC Program serves an average of 248,000 women, infants, and children throughout the 67 counties. Nationwide, WIC serves 8 million participants.

“WIC has evolved over the years and is now on the front lines of the national response to childhood obesity epidemic by using the nutrition education component of WIC to encourage healthy eating habits that last a lifetime,” said Bette Cox Saxton, President and CEO of Maternal and Family Health Services. “As MFHS celebrates the 41th anniversary of the WIC Nutrition Program, we seek continuous program improvement, look for opportunities to collaborate with community partners who share our mission of service and prevention, coordinate service delivery, and improve access to care.”

Pennsylvania WIC is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

For more information about the WIC Nutrition Program, or to find a WIC Center location near you, visit http://www.mfhs.org or call 1-800-367-6347.

The information below is NOT part of the proposed release.

It is mandatory for the WIC Program to provide the full version of the non-discrimination statement to all media outlets to fulfill our requirement for Civil Rights. However, when the media outlet actually conveys the message to the general public, using the short version is acceptable. For example, recognizing that newspaper announcements are generally short in duration, the non-discrimination statement does not have to be printed in its entirety. Rather, a statement such as "USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer" is sufficient, as it is written in the notice above. The full nondiscrimination statement is as follows:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program(dot)intake(at)usda(dot)gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Jean Holmgren
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