The title WIC stands for Women, Infants & Children, but program officials want you to know, the nutrition program is not just for women. Fresno EOC WIC also serves dads, foster parents, grandparents, and guardians who are raising a child under age five.Edgar Perez is a single Fresno father raising three boys and two girls ranging in age from two to 11. He says WIC is very helpful and has given him some valuable guidance. “For example, there are things I didn’t know about kids, like what to feed them and what not to feed them. And what helps their body grow. Things that I didn’t think about before. And now, I am reading nutrition labels, watching their sugar intake, and cooking healthier meals.
WIC clients have access to nutrition experts and to breastfeeding experts. Plus, staff can connect clients to other programs and resources for healthy living. So, when Edgar has a question, he simply makes an appointment. “I am able to talk to a nutritionist one-on-one. It usually takes about 20 minutes. And she answers whatever questions about my children’s health or nutrition. I check in with them about every two weeks.”
WIC Client Services Coordinator, Henry Gomez, says they want everyone to feel included as they work to put families in a position to be successful. “We have gender-neutral materials, but we also have handouts specifically for dads. They include tips for new fathers, tips to be a better dad, and a breastfeeding guide for dads, which explains how they can help their partner with breastfeeding. And so, we always do our best to try and have dads feel welcome when they come in, even if both mom and dad are coming in. We want to make sure that we’re paying close attention to both of their needs because they will each have different questions.
“WIC also provides a way for families to shop for supplemental food at no cost. Clients will receive a WIC card, which functions like a debit card, to buy healthy food items such as fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, whole grains, cereals, juice, and eggs. WIC cards can be used at WIC-authorized stores and some certified farmer’s markets in California.
Edgar says he enjoys cooking and has gotten some great child-friendly recipes from the WIC handbook he was given. “They have healthy recipes for kids that you can try out. And there are recipes for the food items you can get with your WIC card. My kids’ favorite recipe, so far, is homemade chicken nuggets. I cut up some chicken breasts, mix with a few other ingredients, and then just bake them.”
About Fresno EOC WIC Fresno EOC WIC provides healthy food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and family resources to more than 27,000 women, children, and families in Fresno County. If you’re pregnant or a caretaker of a child under age five, you can get personalized support for you and your family at one of our five WIC offices across Fresno and Clovis. We have nutrition and breastfeeding experts who speak English, Spanish, and Hmong. Fresno EOC WIC aims to make it easy to enroll in the program. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can sign up for WIC by making an appointment and going to a local WIC office. You can also enroll online, via virtual meetings, or via telephone. To sign up by phone, just call (559) 263-1150 or text 1-888-412-5922. Fresno EOC WIC’s Customer Care Center is available from 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Thursday, and Fridays from 8:30am to 4:30pm. This summer, WIC program staff members invite you to visit them at community events. They will be at the River Park Farmers Market every Tuesday in June, from 5pm to 7:30pm, offering $30 booklets for fruits and vegetables to qualifying WIC families, including free books for kids. They will be at the Market on Kern in downtown Fresno on Wednesdays from 10am to 12:30pm in June (except June 22). Farmers market booklets and children’s books are given out while supplies last. It’s one booklet per family per year and one set of books per child per year. Dates are subject to change.