Allegheny County expands WIC access for new moms, pregnant women in A-K Valley |
Valley News Dispatch

Allegheny County expands WIC access for new moms, pregnant women in A-K Valley

Natasha Lindstrom
Benefits available via the federally funded Women, Infants and Children program include food vouchers that can be used to purchase specific nutritional items. They include: cow’s milk, soy milk, eggs, cheese, juice, cereal, peanut butter, dried beans, whole grains, tofu, fruits and vegetables. In Allegheny County, the typical WIC participant gets about $50 worth of food per month.

New mothers, pregnant women and guardians of children age 5 and younger soon can access free benefits such as baby formula and monthly food vouchers at a new location in Tarentum.

The county Health Department announced Friday that it has partnered with Highlands Family Center on Fourth Avenue to expand access to federally funded benefits available via the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program. WIC appointments will be available there between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the first Friday of every month.

Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker said the added location in the Alle-Kiski Valley bolsters resources for eligible participants that live in northeastern part of the county.

“We encourage residents that live near the Highlands Family Center to enroll free of charge to receive a variety of additional services, including transportation assistance,” Hacker said.

Countywide, about 16,000 people receive benefits and 90 retailers accept WIC vouchers. Funding remains available to serve more applicants.

WIC provides states with federal grants for nutritional programs for low-income women who are pregnant or breast-feeding or women with children under 5 years old. A custodial father, foster parent or legal guardian of a child up to age 5 also may apply to receive WIC benefits for the child.

WIC food vouchers can be used to purchase specific items to promote healthy growth of young children, including cow’s milk, soy milk, eggs, cheese, juice, cereal, peanut butter, dried beans, whole grains, tofu, fruits and vegetables.

Income requirements for 2019 are set at $30,451 or less a year for a household of two (including an unborn child) and $46,435 a year or less for a household of four.

The average participant receives about $50 worth of food a month.

Highlands Family Center is located at 414 E. Fourth Ave. in Tarentum. To schedule an appointment or ask about eligibility, call the county health department at 412-350-5801 or visit the county’s website.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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