The Women, Infants and Children staff of Wood River Health Services will hold an open enrollment and information session on Feb. 12 at the Jonnycake Center in Peace Dale, 1231 Kingstown Road.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the states, the WIC nutrition program provides financial support for the purchase of healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and classes and health care referrals.
The program is available to pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding mothers as well as children up to the age of 5. Participants must meet income guidelines and have been determined by a health professional to be at nutritional risk.
David Henley, Wood River development coordinator, said the center provides the only access to the program in South County.
"Wood River Health Services is the sole administrator of the WIC program in South County, and aside from a West Bay Community Action satellite office in North Kingstown, our Hope Valley and Westerly locations are the only access points," he said. "We hope this event will be the start of bridging that access gap for people in the eastern regions of the county."
The center has two WIC locations: the Hope Valley Health Center at 823 Main St., open on Thursdays and alternating Tuesdays, and the Tower Street Community Center at 93 Tower St. in Westerly, open on Mondays Wednesdays, Fridays and alternating Tuesdays.
Wood River Health Services is the federally-qualified community health center for southwestern Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut, providing medical and dental care and social services to more than 7,000 residents. Sliding scale payments are available to those who qualify.
"There is no cost to participants, though there are income guidelines attached," Henley said of the WIC program. "Our staff can help with that at this event, or applicants can use the prescreening tool on the FDA website at https://wic.fns.usda.gov/wps/pages/preScreenTool.xhtml
For more information, call 401-387-9638 or visit the center’s website.