By Jamie Shuster
The WIC Farmers Market program is an important part of our obesity prevention efforts here in South Carolina. The voucher program helps low-income women and children access fresh, locally-grown produce, and encourages them to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their daily diets.
Each year about 15,000 South Carolina WIC participants receive $25 in vouchers to redeem at participating farmers markets and farm stands in their communities between June and early October. To encourage participation in the program, many of our local public health clinics are highlighting the farmers market program in their WIC nutrition education classes.
Below is a photo from a healthy snack tasting lesson that two of our nutrition education specialists, La’Quashia Emerson and Ariel Bellamy, recently held for WIC clients at our Conway Health Department.
Ariel and La’Quashia showed participants how to keep and store fresh fruits and vegetables, and shared their experiences in shopping at the local farmers market. Continue reading
By Jamie Shuster
One of our WIC program’s core missions is to provide nutrition education to participants so they can learn how to make healthy food choices on a limited budget. Nutrition education is key to tackling obesity in South Carolina. So we were pleased when the S.C. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND) announced at our last statewide obesity stakeholder meeting that they were partnering with BI-LO to lead grocery store tours across South Carolina to help people learn how to shop for healthy foods. Our outreach team quickly began working with SCAND and our WIC dietitians to participate in the effort and get the word out to our WIC clients and community partners about the tours.
Thursday, DHEC Director Catherine Templeton joined Claire Tidwell, a registered dietitian with our WIC program, and SCAND President Kathy Mercer on a free tour of the “Gamecock” BI-LO in Columbia. Claire and Kathy did a great job teaching tour participants how to find the best prices on healthy produce, what nutrition elements to look for when buying every day staples, and how to find the best prices per unit.
Thank you to our regional community systems directors (Felicia, Lillie, Suzanne, and Suzette) for your help in promoting the tours locally, and to all of our registered dietitians who volunteered their time to support these free nutrition education outreach events.