MASON CITY, Iowa - It really has been a tough year for everyone, and some have had to turn to financial, and food, assistance to get by.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as WIC, is an income-based program providing a little extra help in healthcare and nutrition to families in need.
In North Iowa, and across the Hawkeye State as a whole, coordinator Carla Miller says program participation has increased by about 5%. She's heard from people from all different walks of life who need this assistance.
"We have seen an uptick with people that maybe lost their job due to COVID. Also because we're doing things over the phone, it makes it easier for families and they're appreciative of that."
Recently, there have been some changes to food package options to make them more healthier.
"They've added different choices to the whole grains, they can get whole grain pastas and buns. They can get chocolate milk on their benefits as well. If they choose to get yogurt, they can now get the 'Go-Gurt' type of yogurt that the kiddos really like."
The USDA's Food & Nutrition Service announced waiver extensions for clients to apply over the phone until around the end of October.
To receive assistance, participants should be:
*breastfeeding mothers (up to 12 months after delivery)
*non breastfeeding mothers (up to 6 months after delivery)
*children under the age of 5
In addition, dads, foster parents, guardians, grandparents and step-parents can get support.
For income guidelines, or to sign up, click here.