Jefferson County, Colo. — Pregnant women, infants, children and their parents in South Jeffco can now receive nutrition education and breastfeeding support closer to home.
On March 13, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) opened a new WIC clinic, also known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, in Littleton at 11139 Bradford Road. The Littleton Clinic is located in the same building as the Department of Motor Vehicles near Chatfield Avenue and Kipling Parkway.
Members of the community and the media are invited to join JCPH and WIC staff, as well as community officials and stakeholders, for a grand opening and ribbon cutting from 9-10:30 a.m. on March 29 at the new clinic. Light refreshments will be provided.
WIC provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, prescriptions for healthy food, health referrals and other services free of charge to Colorado families who qualify. WIC’s goal is to help keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 5 healthy.
WIC is for all kinds of families — married and single parents, working or not working. If you are a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent or other legal guardian of a child under 5, or are pregnant, and meet WIC qualifications, you can apply for WIC.
“We learned that we have a significant number of families living in the south Littleton area who were eligible for WIC, yet were not participating,” said Kelly Schossow, manager of the new Littleton Clinic. “That’s probably because the next closest Jefferson County WIC office is more than 12 miles away, which is a 20-minute drive or a 2-hour bus ride for those who rely on public transportation.”
By reducing the distance families need to travel to receive WIC services, Schossow said participation is expected to increase, and the families who need nutrition benefits and education are more likely to receive it.
WIC provides services to families who meet its income guidelines, which includes all families who qualify for Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Even if you don’t qualify for one of these programs, you may still be eligible for WIC, as the program was designed to also help families who may not qualify for other assistance, but still need help. To see if your family qualifies to receive WIC benefits, visit www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wic-eligibility.
Opening the Littleton Clinic is the latest in a series of projects JCPH WIC clinics have executed to better serve their participants throughout the county. In recent years, two of the three preexisting WIC clinics moved to co-locate with other services.
The Arvada WIC Clinic is on the same campus as the Jefferson County Head Start, which is a benefit to the community because most head start students also qualify for WIC and can receive services. The Wheat Ridge WIC Clinic shares a campus with the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) Jeffco Family Health Services Center, where uninsured and underinsured families can access medical, dental, vision and behavioral health services. The third clinic, Lakewood WIC, is located at Jefferson County Public Health, along with an immunization, family planning and sexual health clinic and environmental health services.
All of the Jeffco WIC clinics, including the new Littleton Clinic, provide linguistically- and culturally- appropriate services, with bilingual and trilingual WIC educators on staff who speak Spanish, Russian, Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as having access to hundreds of other languages via an interpretation service.
“It’s important for us to make sure we’re not only serving as many people in Jefferson County as we can, but to make sure we’re serving them in a way that fits their family’s needs, beliefs and traditions,” said Kylie Harrison, Community Nutrition Manager and WIC Director at Jefferson County Public Health. “We believe that a healthy, happy and equitable community starts at home with our families and their littlest ones, and we want to make sure they have the strongest start possible in life.”
The Littleton Clinic was made possible through funding by the Colorado Health Foundation’s WIC Innovation Grant Opportunity and by facilities support from Jefferson County.
If you are interested in participating in the WIC program at any location, or know a family or mom-to-be who could benefit from nutrition and breastfeeding support, call 303-239-5780 or go to jeffcowicsignup.com, provide your information, and someone will contact you in 1-2 business days. To learn more about WIC in Jefferson County, including the hours and locations for each clinic, please visit bit.ly/JeffcoWIC.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan through prevention, education and partnerships for all people. To learn more about JCPH, visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.