JUDGE: Milam County WIC program a well-kept secret

One of the best kept secrets with regard to our county health care is the WIC or Women, Infants and Children program.  

Generally, this program provides food for infants and young children of growing families. For example, the program provides formula, whole grains, cereal, milk, cheese, juice, eggs, beans peanut butter, fruits and vegetables, canned tuna, formula and much more for qualifying women, infants and young children.  

Although the program is funded in large part by federal money, the question is often asked, why should the county have such a program. The answer is simple: to safeguard the health of women, infants and children to lessen future health care costs.  Remember the county has a very fine health care program and WIC is designed, in part, to help reduce the cost of providing future health care.  A 1990 study showed that women who participated in the WIC program during their pregnancies had lower medical costs for themselves and their babies than did women who did not participate. WIC participation was also linked with longer gestation periods, higher birthweights and lower infant mortality.

Our Milam County program is run by an energetic, compassionate young lady, Mrs. Jennifer Ranspot who has offices in Cameron (211 S. Houston) and in Rockdale (313 N. Main). The clinic phone numbers are: Cameron (254)697-4913 and Rockdale (512)446-6245.  

Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are available. Parents, grandparents, foster or adoptive parents who are the named parent/guardian of a child under age five can receive benefits for their children upon qualification. There are earning restrictions, but to qualify for benefits a family of four can make up to $46,434 annually.  

WIC is not a welfare program and is very different from SNAP/Food Stamps. WIC is intended to help provide healthy foods for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5. WIC provides support and inspiration to eat right, have a healthy pregnancy, breastfeed successfully, and raise amazing kids.  In addition, WIC also provides counseling with nutritionist, recipes, cooking classes, breastfeeding support and access to free lactation consultants and registered dietitians.  

This is truly a great, but underutilized program, which is provided in part by Milam County.  If you or someone you know might qualify for these important benefits, contact the Milam County WIC office or start the application process online at texaswic.org. Mrs. Ranspot and her staff will be more than happy to assist in any way.  Of course, there is a process to complete, but is very simple and can provide families great benefit.  Do your part to get the word out about WIC!