Our WIC program provides nutritious foods and nutrition education to help low-income households select healthy foods for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, babies, and small children. Our clients learn how to provide healthy foods for their families as a result, children start school with an improved energy to learn and play. Our WIC program distributed over $1,468,665.00 in WIC vouchers to households with young children in Mason and Thurston Counties— enabling them to keep their kitchens stocked with healthy and nutritious foods. We also assisted over 3,000 WIC families in becoming more self-sufficient and empowered by our various programs at this crucial time in their lives.
About The Program
The Community Action Council provides WIC services to eligible residents of Mason and Thurston Counties. This program was supported by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Department of Health.
We serve low-income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and children up to their fifth birthday.
Clients must meet income guidelines, a state residency requirement, and be individually determined to be at medical or “Nutritional Risk” by a WIC certifier or registered dietitian.
WIC participants receive nutrition education and counseling as well as monthly checks for healthy foods to supplement their diets. WIC foods are typically high in one or more of the following nutrients: Protein, Calcium, Iron, and Vitamins A and C. Individual food packages can be provided for specialized client needs. In addition to nutrition education and supplemental foods, staff will also provide referrals to other health, welfare, and social services when appropriate.
What are medical or nutritional risks?
Medically-based risks include conditions such as:
Lung and Cardiovascular disorders
Over or underweight
History of pregnancy complications
History of poor pregnancy outcomes
Severe dental problems
Nutritional risks include:
Inappropriate dietary patterns
Unsafe food handling
Inadequate or excessive use of vitamins or supplements
Restrictive eating patterns
Staff at our Lacey and Shelton WIC offices screen clients to determine if they are at medical or nutritional risk.
WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
The WIC Farmers’ Market Program provides coupons to WIC participants that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating Farmers’ Markets. The program has two goals: to provide nutritious food to clients and to promote the use of Farmers’ Markets.
Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program
The peer counseling program provides a unique opportunity for new mothers to talk to someone who is not only trained in providing breastfeeding support, but is also someone like them—someone who they can relate to, and feel comfortable sharing concerns with. Breastfeeding peer counselors add to the breastfeeding promotion and support WIC staff to serve pregnant and breastfeeding moms. Our WIC clinics are busy, and sometimes staff are unable to spend as much time as they would like in order to help breastfeeding mothers. Peer counselors provide essential support for breastfeeding mothers, especially during the critical early days and weeks of infants’ lives.
We work to reduce the incidence and impact of child abuse by providing a coordinated, multidisciplinary response to victims of child abuse and their families. This response includes prevention, investigation, prosecution, and treatment. This includes community partners who are experts in those areas. In conjunction with our partner agencies, Monarch provided a wide range of services at no cost to 839 child victims and their families last year.
About the Program
Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center (MCJAC) is a program of the Community Action Council serving children and families in Thurston County, Washington. MCJAC is one of eight operating advocacy centers in the State of Washington and one of over 600 nationwide.
A multidisciplinary team is changing the way the community responds to child victims of sexual abuse. The multidisciplinary team approach offers child victims and their families a place where they can access the help they need to heal emotionally and physically from abuse.
Monarch works with a service dog, Astro, who is trained by Assistance Dogs of Hawaii and is brought to Monarch by the Courthouse Dogs Foundation. Astro accompanies child victims being treated at Monarch’s Center during interviews, investigation, therapy and even into the courtroom. His presence is calming and reduces stress for victims as they go through all the steps of disclosure, investigation, prosecution, and healing. Monarch, Astro, and all partners work to reduce in the incidence and impact of child abuse by providing a coordinated, child-centered, specialized multidisciplinary response, to victims and their families.
Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy is expanding. The Council is building a new home to locate Monarch directly adjacent to our current building at 3020 Willamette Dr. NE, Lacey, WA 98516.
Currently, Monarch is leasing space that requires eight staff and contract therapists to share one office to complete notes, paperwork, and referrals for the 839 children and their families served each year. There is a large demand for use of the 3 therapy rooms, one meeting room, one forensic interviewing room, and 2 exam rooms. The new facility allows for an additional 3,000 sq. feet of space for therapy, forensic interviewing, and the Providence Child Sexual Assault and Maltreatment Center to share. The entire facility will be a child-friendly, comfortable, calming space. The main Council facility will house the Thurston County Prosecutors, Child Protective Services, drop-in space for law enforcement, interns, FBI, Tribal Nations and other surrounding service providers.
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