Spotlight On features a Hunger-Free Lancaster County coalition member and how it is helping to ensure sustainable access to three healthy meals a day to all Lancastrians by 2018. Through its efforts, the coalition intends to close the meal gap by ensuring an additional 7.2 million meals a year are funded or provided on a sustainable basis.
Hunger-Free Lancaster County member Community Action Program of Lancaster County (CAP) boasts an innovative solution to better reach Lancastrians in need – WIC on Wheels. This mobile clinic brings WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) directly to communities and offers services such as food, nutrition education, and health care referrals.
Mike McKenna, CAP’s chief operating officer, sees WIC on Wheels as a powerful new tool to reach people in need. “WIC on Wheels gives us access to so many more families, especially in the rural parts of our county,” he said. “Not everyone can make it downtown or to one of our satellite clinics, particularly families with young kids. Now, we can come to them.”
WIC on Wheels travels weekly to the Manheim, Elizabethtown, Paradise/Gap, and New Holland areas of the County.
The WIC program is funded by the federal government and specifically targets low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
McKenna says that WIC is critical to providing essential nutrition to the most vulnerable among us – young children.
“Ensuring that pregnant women and our youngest children get and stay healthy is and should be at the top of our priority list,” he said. “No child deserves to be hungry. After all, the measure of our merit as a society is how we treat the least powerful among us.”