Children need access to quality nutrition to build a healthy foundation for lifelong well-being. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides access to healthy nutrition for infants, toddlers, and pregnant and postpartum women.
Unfortunately, only 56% of eligible Pennsylvania children and families participate in the program. Thriving PA’s newly-released state and county fact sheets show WIC coverage rates in the program. With children up to age five accounting for 78% of participation, ensuring every eligible family can access the program and receive the nutritional support needed for their household is essential.
Through modernization efforts—like moving to an online Smart Card used to access benefits and permanently implementing telehealth policies—Pennsylvania can make the program more accessible to families. Other benefits of the WIC program include reducing household food insecurity and incidences of preterm births and low birth weights, improving diet quality, and improving access to health care and social services.
Thriving PA continues to advocate for increased participation and program improvements that are decades overdue. Learn more at www.thrivingpa.org.
Chive to Thrive: Thriving PA Delivers Chives to Legislators to Bring Awareness to Maternal and Child Health Needs
Thriving PA, a non-partisan, statewide advocacy campaign seeking to improve the quality of and increase access to a coordinated system of health supports, took to the Capitol last week to bring more awareness to and encourage support of policies to strengthen perinatal and children’s health across the commonwealth.
The delivery of chive plants to legislators aligned with a critical advocacy week, Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, and teased an upcoming report Thriving PA will release this summer that surveyed birthing people in Pennsylvania. Early analysis of survey results shows that 76% of respondents felt they needed care for their mental health.
The campaign also convened focus groups about the lack of access to maternal mental health supports. Maternal mental health disorders are the number one complication of childbearing and a leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths. Currently, the U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries. Thriving PA advocates for access to the health resources and supports needed to give birth to and raise children safely.