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Health Department grant to improve WIC program retention, military families outreach


The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is among 36 organizations nationally to receive federal funding to help increase awareness of the WIC program among military families and reduce barriers to participation.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2020, only 50% of all eligible individuals and 41% of eligible children participated in WIC, equating to a shortfall of almost 6 million individuals.  Grants awarded by the USDA's Food Research & Action Center seek to address this shortfall.

The county Health Department has been awarded $204,459 through the center's WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project. The project aims to raise awareness of WIC and reduce barriers to participation for families on the Fort Bragg Army installation and military community in Cumberland County, the release said.

Through a community coalition, the Fort Bragg Public Health Partnership, the Health Department will work with Fort Bragg Department of Public Health, the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to identify WIC messaging that is relevant for military staff and develop processes for enrollment in WIC, the release said.

The public health partnership will use community-level data and innovative food access programs to amplify outreach and effectively reduce barriers., the release said.

To view other awarded projects nationwide, visit  https://www.hellowic.org/projects/.

To learn more about the WIC program and eligibility, visit cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/public-health-group/public-health/WIC.

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WIC, Cumberland County Health, public health, military families, Fort Bragg