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Montefiore WIC Program Celebrates 30 Years of Service to Community

Non-profit food and nutrition education program helps thousands in need

Bronx, NY- (July 14, 2009) - The Montefiore Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program celebrated its 30th anniversary today. ThisFederally-funded program provides supplemental food and nutrition education services to low-income pregnant, post-partum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to the age of five who are at nutritional risk. WIC is a national program that distributes grants to states to distribute services that include nutrition education, breastfeeding and healthy lifestyle.

"Montefiore has been a leader in providing increased access to care for these vulnerable children and families of our Bronx community," said Steven M. Safyer, MD, President & CEO of Montefiore Medical Center. "We are proud to commemorate 30 years of helping to secure the health of our community."

The Montefiore program was one of the first programs in the state. Currently, more than 10,000 people are served at three sites in the Bronx at 22 Westchester Square, the Fordham Family Practice at One Fordham Plaza and at the Comprehensive Health Care Center (CHCC) at 432 E. 161 St. Nutritionists, site coordinators and breastfeeding coordinators offer a full range of services to offer preventative measures to promote a healthy lifestyle.

"Our goal is to meet our clients' wants and needs," said Sharon McClure, MHA, CDN, Montefiore WIC Director. "Sometimes we're all these roles combined into one - we're psychiatrists too!"

The WIC Program is available in all 50 States, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, America Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Commonwealth Islands of the Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Ninety WIC State agencies administer the program through 2,200 local agencies and 9,000 clinic sites. More than 8.2 million people nationwide get WIC benefits each month, with more than half of them being children.

To be eligible, they must meet income guidelines, a State residency requirement and be individually determined to be at "nutrition risk" by a health professional. On the basis of income, applicants' family income must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines (currently $39,200 for a family of four). A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.

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