Skip to content

WIC rule change brings more healthy foods to Alaska stores

More fruits and vegetables will be offered to WIC families 

For Immediate Release: March 10, 2014

Contact: Clay Butcher, 269-7867, clay.butcher@alaska.gov

            Cathy Stadem, 269-3495, cathy.stadem@alaska.gov

ANCHORAGE — The U.S. Department of Agriculture “Final Rule” has been issued confirming critical public health changes to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program that further improve the nutrition and health of the nation’s low-income mothers and young children. The rule will expand Alaskans’ access to a choice of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. 

“We’re excited there will be more opportunities for WIC families to purchase fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods that will enable healthy pregnancies and births and more nutritious meals for kids,” said Ron Kreher, Director of the Alaska Division of Public Assistance. “This change is particularly exciting for rural Alaska because it means better access to healthy foods.”

The Alaska WIC program, part of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, foresees many positive benefits of the rule change for Alaskans, including:

  • More healthy, nutrient-packed foods will be stocked in grocery stores all over the state.
  • Better access for WIC families to healthy fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, including yogurt, for mothers and young children.
  • Allowing WIC parents of older infants to buy fresh produce instead of jarred infant food.
  • More flexibility in meeting the nutritional and cultural needs of WIC participants.
  • Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research has indicated that changes to the WIC food packages may be a contributing factor in the decline in obesity rates among 2–5 year olds.
  • Continued decrease in saturated fat in the foods available to WIC clients.

WIC is a federally funded program that provides nutrition and breast-feeding education, nutritious foods, and improved health care for low‑ and moderate-income women and children with, or at risk of developing, nutrition-related health problems.

For more information on Alaska’s WIC program, go to: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dpa/Pages/nutri/wic/default.aspx

 

###

The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services promotes and protects the health and well-being of Alaskans. We help individuals and families create safe and healthy communities. For more information, visit http://dhss.alaska.gov