By Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (June 5, 2018) — Raising children can be a challenging task for new parents. With the Women, Infants, and Children Overseas program, parents can reach out for multiple facets of assistance and education in raising children.
The WIC Overseas program is a Department of Defense nutrition education and supplemental food program offered to eligible active-duty military, DoD contractors and civilians, and their dependents stationed overseas.
“The program provides benefits such as free nutritious food, tips on how to prepare balanced meals, nutrition and health screenings, and referrals to other base organizations that help Kaiserslautern Military Community families lead healthier lives,” said Virginia Johnson, WIC Overseas regional manager.
“Our counselors are registered nurses, dietitians and other health professionals with nutrition backgrounds, so they are equipped to answer a wide array of questions related to feeding an infant or child, and maintaining a healthy pregnancy for mothers and their unborn child,” said Johnson. “We also have qualified staff for breastfeeding concerns.”
Along with the education and counseling provided for caring for the newborn, WIC Overseas also provides guidance to help families live healthier lifestyles.
“We provide counseling on how to live a healthier life through individualized nutrition and breastfeeding education,” Johnson said. “Participants also receive drafts for the purchase of healthy, nutritious foods which increases the available household income.
In addition, the program contributes to military readiness. Johnson said active duty personnel will be more productive and focused on their mission if they are not worried about the health of their family.
To allow participants into the program, WIC Overseas first screens them to verify they qualify for the program. Those eligible to enroll are children 5 years old or younger, pregnant women, breastfeeding women up to one year, and postpartum women up to six months.
To verify eligibility, members can contact the office over the phone for a pre-screening. Members who are pre-qualified will then set up an appointment for the member’s family to visit the office.
“Even if you didn’t qualify in the states, it does not mean you won’t qualify overseas,” Johnson said. “We have different financial guidelines overseas so many families are pleased to learn they can get services here.”
For members interested in enrolling in the program or to receive more information on the program, contact your local Bavaria WIC Overseas office by visiting our phonebook.