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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

WIC director urges familiarity with program guidelines

Some 87,410 beneficiaries currently participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, in Puerto Rico.

By The Star Staff

Roberto Carlos Pagán, the newly appointed director of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), urged the public on Sunday to orient themselves on the current income eligibility guidelines in order to promote a healthy and balanced diet for children between up to 5 years old.

“It’s important to orient our population, so we started an educational process to reach out to groups that are eligible to receive WIC benefits,” Pagán said in a written statement. “Contrary to what they might think, the services are not only aimed at low-income families; currently, the new income eligibility guidelines take into account other considerations in order to safeguard the health and nutrition of a child from their first years of life, with food being a fundamental pillar.”

“In Puerto Rico there are thousands of families who may be eligible and are unaware of it,” Pagán added. “For example, a family of four with an income of $55,000 per year may be eligible. The important thing is the guidance, so that these nutritional resources reach the tables of our young children.”

Pagán said 87,410 WIC beneficiaries currently participate in the program, of which 7,723 are pregnant women, 5,561 are breastfeeding women, 5,468 are postpartum women, 14,907 are infants from zero to 12 months old, and 53,751 are children from 1 to 5 years old. The WIC program is a service aimed at women and children in the aforementioned categories who have at least one nutritional risk by providing information on healthy eating practices, referrals to other health services, and breastfeeding support.

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