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WIC program helps Montana families make ends meet during pandemic

Posted at 3:09 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 17:09:07-04

BILLINGS - As families work to make ends meet through the COVID-19 pandemic, RiverStone Health is encouraging moms to consider the WIC program.

WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, wants to make sure Montana children and families don't go hungry.

They're given an EBT card to purchase cereal, juice, milk, cheese, eggs, peanut butter, whole grain items including whole wheat pasta, dry or canned beans, yogurt, fruits and vegetables, baby food, infant cereal, and formula.

Pregnant women, new mothers, and those caring for young children could qualify for the program if they lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

The following guide is currently used to determine if a household qualifies for WIC -

Household Size/Household Income

1/ $23,107

2/ $31,284

3/ $39,461

4/ $47,638

5/ $55,815

For each additional family member, add $8,177.

The program is available to pregnant women, new moms up to six months after delivery, breastfeeding moms up to one year after delivery, infants, and children under 5-years-old.

To keep families safe, eligibility can now be determined over the phone by calling (406)247-3370. The WIC staff can also be reached by emailing WIC@RiverstoneHealth.org .

“We’re finding that when families are able to be in their own home, and visit with us over the phone, people do seem to be relaxed, and kind of willing to chat. Versus, you know, sometimes coming to The office can be a little bit more stressful for the families, and so right now, it’s great to talk to the families in their home, in that really relaxed environment and we’re getting good participation rates, and less no shows and things like that,” said Kate Monger, the RiverStone Health WIC program coordinator.

RiverStone Health WIC provides services in Yellowstone, Carbon, Musselshell and Stillwater counties.

WIC also provides breastfeeding support, nutrition information, and referrals to healthcare and other community resources.

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