Breastfeeding taskforce

Portland-area WIC program can provide nutritious food and breastfeeding support to an additional 24,000 people

Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties have the capacity to serve twice the number of people the counties currently serve with the federally funded WIC program.

The official name of the 50-year-old program is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, infants and children. But WIC is also open to fathers, stepparents, grandparents, and adoptive parents — anyone with a child under the age of 5 who qualifies.

“Even though it’s called women, infants and children, it’s useful for the whole family, not just the kids…everyone benefits from it,” said Salvador Galvan, whose family of four people use their WIC benefits to buy basics like milk, eggs, cereal, cheese, and extra fruits and vegetables.

A family of four can earn just over $50,000 a year and still qualify for WIC, and anyone eligible for Oregon’s health plan is automatically eligible for WIC.

Pregnant people who meet the income criteria are also eligible for the program.

“Unlike many social programs that are shrinking, WIC has the capacity to serve twice as many people in the tri-county area,” said Tara Olson, WIC program supervisor for Washington County. “Many families have lost resources or had to cut expenses during the pandemic and we want them to know we are here to help. We have a diverse workforce and also provide language interpretation and accessibility accommodations for families who need it.

In addition to the healthy food and nutritional advice that WIC is known for, the program also provides referrals to other programs such as dental care, vaccinations, and other health services, and it provides important tips to help families with breastfeeding questions.

Rebecca Medearis used this service when she was sick and worried that her baby was not getting enough milk. Her advisor called her back the same day.

“She just encouraged me to keep drinking water and assured me that my body was just focused on healing and that my milk should go back to normal once I was fine,” Medearis said. which encourages other families to find out if they are eligible for WIC. “If you need a little extra support, accept it and be grateful because it really is an amazing and helpful program.”

Families with children under five, pregnant or breastfeeding women can call 1-844-599-9714 or visit signupwic.com to find services in their area.

WIC is an equal opportunity provider.

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Watch the video with WIC Families

See the testimonials of families participating in the WIC program