Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This Just In - Free Pennsylvania-Grown Produce for WIC Families!

We just got some fabulous news from the Allegheny County Health Department, which administers WIC.

Starting June 1, women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum and children two, three and four years of age each will be issued checks worth $20 in free produce. Each family also will receive a re-usable Farmers Market shopping bag filled with recipe books for using fresh produce and other nutrition education materials.

The checks are redeemable through November 30 for Pennsylvania-grown fresh fruits and vegetables at participating Farmers Markets and Farm Stands in Pennsylvania. More than 50 in Allegheny County are listed on the Health Department’s WIC web site,

In addition to free produce, WIC families receive nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and other food benefits, such as infant formula; infant cereal; milk; eggs; cheese; juice; cereal; peanut butter; whole grains, including bread, tortillas, oatmeal and rice; soy milk; tofu; jarred baby foods; dry or canned beans; canned tuna/sardines/pink salmon; and fresh/frozen/canned fruits and vegetables.

WIC is a federally funded program for pregnant or breastfeeding women, postpartum mothers and children under the age of five. Eligibility is based on income and medical risk.

The current income limits are an annual gross income of $20,036 for a family of one; $26,955 for 2; $33,874 for 3; $40,793 for 4; $47,712 for 5; $54,631 for 6; $61,550 for 7; and $68,469 for 8. Add $6,919 for each additional member beyond 8. Unborn children are counted in determining family size when a woman is pregnant.

For information about WIC and how to apply for benefits, please call the County Health Department WIC Program at 412-350-5801. If this number is a toll call or you live outside Allegheny County, please call the statewide toll-free number, 1-800-WIC-WINS.