WIC participation declines in Chatham County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WIC sees fewer recipients in Chatham County

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Food stamps usage is on the rise in Georgia, but a federal nutrition program for women and children known as WIC is seeing a decline in Chatham County.

Both programs provide vouchers for food, but the WIC nutrition manager said their program has very specific guidelines.

"We service a low-income population, but they are not only low income, but they are also at nutritional risk," said Christine Myers, Chatham County WIC nutrition manager.  

It's a program designed to help pregnant women by providing healthy food for them and their children up to the age of 5.

"With WIC, you have vouchers that look like checks and on each voucher. It lists exactly what foods you can buy," said Myers.

A program that requires participants to go through routine screenings and nutrition classes. It's a very different approach compared to other programs.

"WIC gives you healthier food than food stamps," said WIC participant Erica Wimbush. "Food stamps you can go out and buy anything, WIC wants to make sure you stay healthy."

Recent reports show Georgia has seen an increase in food stamp participants while Chatham County's WIC program has seen a decline.

"Well, we are not serving as many people as we were last year," said Myers.  

Myers said their research shows they should be serving around 2,500 people in Chatham County, but right now they are about 300 shy of that number.

"If it it's reflecting our economy. That would be a good thing, but we want to make sure we are getting through and servicing everyone we can," said Myers.  

WIC is concerned there are more women out there that could be benefiting from their services but may not know about it. To get involved with the Chatham County WIC program, you can call 855.262.7670.

A statewide forum is coming up in August where participants can give their input about the WIC program. 

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