The Arkansas WIC program has gone above-and-beyond to better serve low-income parents and young children in Arkansas. WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. The main focus of WIC is educating families about proper nutrition for babies, young children, and expectant and new mothers.
- Supplemental foods, high in nutrients needed for growth and development
- Nutrition education to improve diet and health habits
- Information, support, and encouragement for breastfeeding
- Referrals for other health services
You may have heard that our priority audience for Cooking Matters is caregivers of young children age 0-5… exactly the group WIC serves! We have been talking with them over the last 5 years to figure out how to better reach their participants, and they asked us to wait until they made the switch from paper coupons to electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards to reduce waste and stigma in the program. We kept bugging them, and they kept saying, “hold on, we’re almost there.” I’m immensely proud to say that this past year, they boldly made the gigantic switch from paper coupons to EBT cards, with immensely positive feedback so far. WIC has made good on its promise…since making the switch, they have gone to great lengths to implement Cooking Matters as one of their nutrition education options for their participants – including providing volunteers and participants for classes and event days, having Cooking Matters speak at their statewide training event, and being one of a few sites nationally to organize focus groups with their participants to develop new nutrition education models that work better for caregivers of young children, and even agreed to pilot this new model at two WIC sites this Fall. Thanks so much to Arkansas WIC for all you do to shape healthy futures for Arkansas children and their families!
We recently honored Arkansas WIC at our Hunger Action Breakfast for the incredible work they do to help Arkansas families in need. Check out these #hungerheroes!