By CRISTIN REECE
The Palestine Herald Press has a new neighbor.
Anderson County's WIC office has moved from its former location to 305 E. Lacy St., suite 130 in Palestine. Staffers opened the new office to the public on Monday.
“Now that we got everything set back up and working again, it's been great,” site supervisor and nutritionist Christine Piwonka said. “Everything's the same — services, staff — only our location has changed. I think our clients are going to enjoy our new space. It's much more comfortable for them.”
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services' website, www.texaswic.dshs.state.tx.us, WIC is a nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy.
Nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, nutritious foods, and help accessing health care are provided to low-income women, infants, and children through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, popularly known as WIC.
“Fathers of children under the age of 5 are also encouraged to enroll their children in the WIC program,” the website states. “Just like any other parent or guardian, fathers can bring their children to appointments, attend nutrition classes, and receive and redeem benefits for their children. Active participation by fathers is a great help in keeping WIC children healthy.”
Piwonka said the program simply outgrew its former location at 100 W. Brazos St.
“It was a pretty small place to begin with,” Piwonka said with a laugh. “The timing worked in our favor too — our lease was up and the new, bigger space was available, so it was a good time to make the move.”
The new office boasts more offices, a lab room and a play area for the children to enjoy as their parents take care of business at the office and Piwonka said she felt like the new location is a bit more accessible, too.
“Lacy (Street) is much more visible to the public,” she said. “Our former location was a bit out of the way, so that's an added bonus to making the move.”
More space is definitely just what the establishment needed, as the number of clients the office serves has continued to increase.
“It's really nice and much easier to accommodate people now,” Piwonka said. “We're still settling in, but it is working very well.”
To find out how to apply for WIC, call 800-942-3678 or visit www.dshs.state.tx.us.