PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
July 30, 2014

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Deputy Health Commissioner Visits WIC Breastfeeding Class

Celebrate WIC's 40th Anniversary

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the New Jersey WIC program and World Breastfeeding Week, Deputy Health Commissioner Dr. Arturo Brito will visit a breastfeeding class at the WIC program administered by St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson. The visit is part of a week-long series of events to promote the health benefits of WIC.

St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center's WIC Program has 17 sites in three counties -Bergen and Morris counties and parts of Passaic County. It is the third largest WIC agency in New Jersey, serving 21,000 women, infants and children a month.

Dr. Brito will meet with moms-to-be and deliver remarks in English and Spanish.

The event begins at 10 am at 185 6th Avenue in Paterson.

Earlier this week, Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd and Patricia Dombroski, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service Mid-Atlantic Regional Office Administrator, kicked off the week with a visit to the Mercer County WIC program in Trenton, where they attended a nutrition class that teaches youngsters about fresh produce.

WIC provides nutritious food to women, infants and children. Statewide, more than 170,000 New Jersey women and children receive monthly vouchers for food that can be redeemed in more than 900 grocery stores statewide for healthy foods including milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, 100% juice, fruit and vegetables.

WIC encourages breastfeeding because of the nutritional benefits it offers infants, opportunities for increased bonding with newborns, reduced illnesses in a baby's first year and lower risk of obesity in adulthood. WIC also provides an enhanced food package to new mothers who exclusively breastfeed. Additionally, baby food is also provided after six months to infants who have been exclusively breastfed.

New Jersey was one of the first 10 states in the nation to administer the WIC program.

WIC is open to pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding mothers and their children up to age five who meet the income guidelines and live in New Jersey.

To learn more about WIC and watch a new video highlighting the benefits of the program visit https://nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/wic_camp.shtml. Women can learn if they qualify for the program by calling their local WIC office to schedule an appointment, or call 1-800-328-3838 to find the nearest WIC office.

Last Reviewed: 7/30/2014