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WIC Nutritional Program offers resources for all caregivers

Kaitlyn Riley

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Image by Chuck Underwood from Pixabay

Not just for moms, the La Crosse County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program continues to offer help for families as Coronavirus concerns continue creating a financial crisis.

Jennifer Miller, WIC project nutritionist and Head Start nutrition consultant, said WIC serves pregnant women, infants, and children up to age five as well as their caregivers. Caregivers can include mothers, fathers, grandparents, foster parents, and others.

“Things have changed with how to feed those infants and those children,” Miller said. “It is a hard time right now. We are trying to figure out how we can nutritiously feed our families and have that support.”

The program uses income guidelines to judge eligibility, but those who may be on BadgerCare or FoodShare may automatically qualify even if income guidelines do not match.

“We encourage anyone who would like assistance to reach out,” Miller said. “Don’t stop after looking at income guidelines. We will run through a series of questions that can find out if you are actually eligible.”

Those interested can search online for a local WIC office. Because of COVID-19, several offices are managing appointments over the phone or online.

“I know this is a scary time right now,” Miller said. “We are going to be able to work with you so you can head out and get those groceries you need for your family.”

She added several families leave WIC once an infant no longer needs formula or breastfeeding support, but there additional resources that can be utilized for questions regarding anything from picky eating to portion sizes.

“That is such a key time that we want to keep families on, and you have your dietitian and nutritionist,” Miller said. “You have a sympathetic ear to hear you, but also the referrals.”

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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