Women, Infants, & Children Reaches Out to New Mexico Mothers
State WIC Program Marks 40 Years of Strengthening Families
The New Mexico Department of Health’s Women, Infants and Children nutritional program (WIC) launches a media campaign commemorating its 40th anniversary this week, featuring New Mexico families who benefit from the program's nutritious foods and nutrition education.
The theme of the campaign is “Healthy Children and Healthy Families are Good for New Mexico”. The campaign will run on local television and radio stations statewide, through Mother's Day, Sunday, May 10th.
“WIC services are a cornerstone of maintaining the health of New Mexico children,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “WIC serves more than half (54%) of all babies born in New Mexico, and the connection between healthy eating and healthcare is a vital one for families statewide.”
The New Mexico WIC Program has 56,105 participants (as of July, 2014) who are served at 43 permanent clinics and 36 satellite clinics throughout the state.
“Nutrition education, healthy foods, breastfeeding support and health care referrals are the four pillars upon which WIC operates, and its benefits are far reaching,” said New Mexico WIC Program Director Sarah Flores-Sievers. "For example, just last year we were able to report that our state's obesity rates declined among low-income preschoolers for the first time in decades."
Flores-Sievers noted that over the years, nutrition science has steered WIC from its initial food offering of whole milk, eggs and cheese to today's low-fat, low-salt selections which include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fish and dairy alternatives, such as tofu and yogurt.
New Mexico WIC participants can obtain these foods from their local grocery stores using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) smart card, which replaced the cumbersome WIC checks almost 10 years ago. In fact, New Mexico WIC was the first such program in the nation to provide participants with this on-demand access to nutritious foods. Now, all 50 state WIC programs are required to implement EBT systems by 2020.
For more information, visit the Women, Infants and Children section of our website.
We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.
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