The WIC Education team at the Food Bank of Delaware travels throughout the state educating WIC recipients about preparing healthy meals using items on the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) food package. WIC is a nutrition education and supplemental program that provides healthy food for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women and to infants and children up to age five.
The WIC Education duo consisting of Alisha Beckford and Chong Yi, provide cooking demonstrations and workshops to WIC recipients at a variety of community access points including WIC clinics, community organizations and farmers markets.
Recently, Alisha spent a fall afternoon in late September at the Glasgow Farmers Market distributing free samples of blueberry oat bites. Her blueberry oat bites were popular among taste testers. Ingredients included blueberries, bananas, rolled oats, peanut butter, honey and cinnamon (see recipe below) – all items available on the WIC food package.
In addition to the WIC food package, all WIC recipients receive $20 worth of farmers market coupons per participant through the WIC Farmers Market Program to redeem at local farmers markets during the season.
The Glasgow Farmers Market is popular among WIC recipients who need to redeem their vouchers, notes Alisha. It’s a perfect place for her to provide nutrition education and outreach.
In addition to the recipe for blueberry oat bites, Alisha also distributed other recipes that can easily be prepared using items on the WIC package.
The WIC food package includes items such as cheese, milk, beans, peanut butter, juice, whole-wheat bread, tortillas, eggs, fresh produce and formula. Packages have an average retail value of $43/month per enrolled child. Families save up to an average of $516 in grocery costs a year per participants. For low-income families, the savings are huge. These savings allow families to direct already-limited incomes to other household costs like rent/mortgage, utilities, childcare, transportation and more.
WIC benefits are distributed on a monthly basis. Participants are able to choose their food package for three months at a time. Food packages are loaded onto an eWIC card and recipients redeem at their local grocery store. Participants must recertify for WIC each year to continue to receive benefits. Recertification takes place at a local WIC clinic.
To learn more about WIC Education at the Food Bank of Delaware, click here.
Blueberry Oat Bites
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 ripe bananas (great source of potassium and fiber)
- 2 cups rolled oats (great source of fiber and B vitamins)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter or sun butter (sun butter is not included on the WIC food package – both ingredients are good sources of protein)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Mash up the bananas in a large mixing bowl
- Stir in the rolled oats, peanut butter (or sun butter) honey and cinnamon
- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball
- Refrigerate for 2 hours, allowing the oats enough time to soften