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The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has launched an online program for families who get nutritional help through the Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, program. KSMU’s Matt Evans went to the Springfield Greene-County WIC offices to see how the online program works.
The Springfield-Greene County WIC program is seeing more than 7,000 clients each month and that number continues to grow. To ease the pressure that caseload puts on the staff there is a new online program. In the program, WIC clients can go through on-line tutorials ranging from tooth decay to basic nutrition for infants. Mary Ellison is the WIC coordinator in Springfield and she showed me some of the lessons on her computer.
“Vitamin C helps make connective tissue in our body. Let’s say false. Incorrect. This answer is true. So it tells you that, so that’s kind of nice too, so you’ll know what’s going on.”
Ellison says the program is in its early stages and more lessons will be added in the future. She says one big advantage of the on-line program is that it can be accessed anytime on any day.
“WIC is a terrific program and it makes a big difference in a lot of people’s lives, but it’s a time consuming process.”
The WIC offices in Springfield are closed on the weekends and evenings, so it can be difficult for busy parents to come into the office. Ellison says the on-line lessons can be taken instead of classes that most parents have to take. She has referred some clients to the website, but since the website is still new, there hasn’t been any feedback yet.
“I’ll bet if they just tried it, they’d be pretty tickled to use it.”
The lessons can be found by going to http://www.dhss.mo.gov/WICFamilies/ and clicking on “participant nutrition education.”
For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.