The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped Burlington County from providing help to new and expecting mothers and young children.
The Burlington County Department of Health’s Women, Infants and Children program, also known as WIC, continues to operate and deliver services throughout the pandemic, including education, nutrition assistance, health care referrals and other social services for pregnant women, new mothers and children 5 and younger.
“As a mom myself, I know the challenges new and expecting mothers face. Making sure they and their children have access to nutritious foods, health care and other assistance is important at all times, but especially during this pandemic,” Freeholder Director Felicia Hopson said in a statement prepared by the county. “The board is incredibly proud of our Health Department and staff for the job they’ve done responding to the outbreak, but also for continuing to deliver services our residents rely on.”
Low- and moderate-income mothers are eligible for the WIC services, including vouchers for nutritious foods rich in calcium, protein, iron and fiber.
Monthly enrollment in Burlington County typically hovers around 3,300 participants. So far this year about 24% of the enrolled participants are women, close to 50% are children and around 26% are infants, according to the statement.
Among the WIC services that have continued during the outbreak is nutrition counseling, which is being provided through online classes and mailings and one-on-one conversations.
Breastfeeding support is also offered and made available during and after work hours. Peer counseling is also provided on weekends.
As part of the nutrition program, the county also distributes $25 farmers market vouchers that can be used to purchase fresh produce at the farmers market at the Burlington County Agriculture Center in Moorestown and other participating farmers markets throughout the county and state.
“Fresh produce helps both moms and their children stay healthy and partnering with the farmers markets helps support our local farms to keep agriculture viable and vibrant,” Hopson said in the statement.
For more information on the WIC program and services or to enroll, visit https://wic.nj.gov/participantportal/ or call 609-267-4304.