Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016
An estimated 145 Andover residents are eligible to receive assistance from WIC, the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children. However, only 32 percent of those eligible in town currently receive the benefit.
To reach more qualifying mothers, infants and children, the WIC office serving Andover and North Andover has relocated to a more easily accessible location. The new WIC office officially opened at the Andover/North Andover YMCA at 165 Haverhill Street, Andover, on July 12.
WIC is a state- and federally funded program that provides free, healthy food, nutrition counseling, and other services. The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc., operates the WIC program in Greater Lawrence, with offices in Lawrence, Methuen, and Andover.
“The Andover/North Andover YMCA offers a welcoming environment that is easily accessible by public transportation, making it a great location for our WIC office. The new space allows us to lower barriers that might otherwise prevent eligible people from benefiting from WIC,” said Evelyn Friedman, Executive Director of the GLCAC, a social services agency based in Lawrence that assists 29,000 individuals annually with a variety of programs.
One of the goals of GLCAC’s WIC program is to increase participation among residents of Andover and North Andover. According to GLCAC’s 2015 Needs Assessment Survey, an estimated 196 North Andover residents are eligible for WIC, with 147 residents (75 percent) currently enrolled. An estimated 145 Andover residents are WIC-eligible, with 47 residents (32 percent) currently enrolled.
WIC is available to pregnant women; breastfeeding women up to one-year post-partum; non-breastfeeding women up to 6-months post-partum; infants; and children under 5. Participants must live in Massachusetts, have a household income less than or equal to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, and be at nutritional risk.
All foster children under age 5 are automatically eligible for WIC, as are those who receive benefits from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC), and WIC-eligible MassHealth plans, such as MassHealth Standard.
The GLCAC WIC program’s active caseload is currently around 6,600 individuals; about 1,500 of those individuals are pregnant and post-partum women, and the remaining 5,100 are infants and children.
For more information about WIC, please call (978) 681-4960