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WIC plays a vital role for women and kids

  • Scott LaMar
Milk is always on the menu

Milk is always on the menu

Aired; May 16th, 2024.


Ever hear that a woman has been described as glowing when she is pregnant? It is a time when most women are happy and excited when they’re expecting or even after they just delivered.

But for some women, it’s a struggle because they don’t have access to good prenatal care or nutritious food when they’re pregnant. They’re two of the most important contributors to the mother’s health, but especially the baby’s health. Prenatal care and eating a nutritious diet can have a lifelong impact on the health of the baby.

Fortunately, there are programs to help expectant or new mothers. WIC or Women Infants and Children is one of the most successful that has provided nutritious food, breastfeeding resources and other services to millions of women across the country for the past 50 years.

Robin Rohrbaugh of the Community Progress Council of York County and Sally Zubairu-Cofield of Pennsylvania WIC

With us to discuss the WIC program and other services for families in need on The Spark Thursday were Sally Zubairu-Cofield, Pennsylvania’s WIC Director and Robin Rohrbaugh, President and CEO of the Community Progress Council.

Zubrair-Cofield indicated that the WIC program provides much more than handing out food to expectant and new mothers living in poverty, like it did when it started in 1974. She added healthy food is just one challenge many women are facing, “Not only making sure that these moms are going to their doctors and keeping up with their appointments, but they’re barriers that don’t allow moms to do that. There are barriers that don’t allow the practitioners to spend that time, not quality time, with the moms in the office. Some practitioners are seeing these, participants or their clients and these pregnant moms, maybe five, ten minutes in a quarter. So, we really, really stress trying to get that time and build those relationships with those mothers and make sure they have access to our care. We know that, if we can teach you how to eat better, we can teach you how to feed your child better. What’s out there for your child? If your main issue is you don’t have a place to stay, you’re going through domestic violence, you don’t have shelter, you don’t have heat. So we really, really want to remove these barriers. Going to a WIC appointment is a barrier for some people. Getting the kids, taking off of work to make these appointment are barriers. So we do things like have mobile clinics. We have office hours. We are seeing participants on the weekends. We’re driving in rural and different areas where participants may not have access to a clinic or can’t get to a clinic. So we’re really trying to meet the participants where they are. And we really, really are intentional about connecting with all of our community partners because we can’t help the participants if we don’t even know what’s available to them.”

The Community Progress Council in York County offers services to assist those living in poverty to become self-sufficient — especially financially,”We’re trying to help people get to a place financially where they no longer need public or private assistance. We achieve our mission by delivering an array of services, work being one of those services. We are York County’s Headstart and early Headstart provider. We have some Pre-K counts, classrooms, housing, counseling and education. And then we have a broad array of coaches who walk alongside of all of the families that we are serving and work with them to achieve their goals. So, we really focus on providing a comprehensive service to all of the families that come to us.”




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