WIC office opens at Fort Bragg to give military families access to healthy food

Monique John Image
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
WIC office opens at Fort Bragg
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Military families have a new resource to turn to at Fort Bragg to help put food on the table.

Military families have a new resource to turn to at Fort Bragg to help put food on the table.

On Tuesday, the post opened a new Women, Infant and Children (WIC) office in collaboration with Cumberland County's Department of Public Health.

Military spouse Allison Nevins says having this newly opened WIC office just minutes away from her home is a big help, making it easier to stock up on milk and fruit for her family.

"I put it off for over a year. I wish I would have gotten this a lot sooner because...even this first month I've saved this over a hundred bucks at least in groceries," Nevins said.

At Tuesday's ribbon cutting, Cumberland County and Fort Bragg officials said the clinic will play a critical role in food insecurity facing military families.

The county saying that in general, nearly 1 in 5 estimated soldiers and families are food insecure. Plus, people can now access things like healthy foods, info on nutritious diets and breastfeeding as well as health care referrals without having to travel all the way to the nearby office in Spring Lake.

"Having it here reduces the barriers that may be present for individuals to access it, whether it's a transportation barrier," said Lt. Col. Theresa Pearce, the director of the Fort Bragg Department of Public Health. "Sometimes it's a time and a convenience barrier to get to the appointments and just kind of take that initial step to get to the appointment. And so, we wanted to reduce those barriers as much as possible."

Those eligible for WIC must be mothers or pregnant, have infants or children under the age of five, and be at 185% of the poverty level.

ABC11 reported on the food insecurity that some Fort Bragg families are experiencing and many don't qualify for SNAP benefits.

As men and women in US armed forces serve their country, their families struggle to serve hot meals at home. Many don't qualify for food assistance benefits like SNAP.