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Cass County: WIC program helps women, infants

WIC is a supplemental nutrition and breastfeeding program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). It is administered by each state but funded primarily by federal grants to provide nutritional services, breastfeeding support and food supplements to income-eligible pregnant or postpartum (after giving birth) women, and children up to age 5.

Since 1974, WIC has proven to be one of the most successful nutritional, breastfeeding and supplemental programs. WIC's main benefits include longer and healthier pregnancies; reduced infant mortality; increased prenatal care services; healthier children because of better medical care and immunizations; healthier women because of nutritional and breastfeeding support; better childhood nutrition and decreased obesity; and improved academic performance when children are ready for school

Who is eligible? Pregnant women, postpartum women up to six months, breastfeeding women up to one year, children up to age 5, people who meet income guidelines, and participation in the following programs is an automatic eligibility - Medical Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Minnesota Family Investment Program, Fuel Assistance, Reduced or Free School Lunch, Head Start and Supplemental Security Income.

WIC provides: Healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, whole grain pasta, tortillas and bread, low-fat milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, peanut butter and baby foods; nutritional tips and guidance; education and support for breastfeeding; referrals to community and medical resources as needed; caring and supportive staff.

Cass County's WIC program: Cass County's WIC program serves an average of 570 women, infants and children at four locations throughout Cass County, which includes Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services in Walker, and the area family centers located in Pine River, Pillager and Remer. Cass's WIC program also has nurses specialized in breastfeeding education. You do not need to be a WIC participant to receive breastfeeding support.

For more information on the WIC program, visit the Minnesota Department of Health's WIC website at

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find out if you are eligible for WIC, contact the Cass County WIC program at 218-547-1340, extension 311, or visit:

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information or support with breastfeeding, contact Renee Lukkason, public health nurse at Cass County Health, Human and Veterans Services, at 218-547-1340, extension 209, or