WIC program here to help as extra food assistance benefits end


By Megan Graham | San Juan Basin Public Health

Families enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have been eligible for extra benefits since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. As emergency allotments for all states end as of March 2023, February is the last month clients will receive these extra benefits.

San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) encourages SNAP clients who are affected by this reduction in food assistance to take advantage of its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, particularly with the cost of groceries rising. WIC is a nutrition assistance program for:

• Pregnant women.

• Women who have recently had a baby.

• Households with a child under the age of 5. 

Most SNAP-eligible families also qualify for WIC benefits, which include nutrition education, breastfeeding support and a debit card to purchase an ever-expanding list of healthy foods at an array of Colorado supermarkets. WIC families can also take advantage of other benefits such as reduced-price community-supported agriculture shares.

“These services have kept me aware of and on track with the nutritional needs of myself and my son throughout the five years since his conception,” said one of SJBPH’s WIC clients. “Our family was not prepared to add another, and the support and care meant so much during that uncertain time. Now I’m a single mom, working to keep our lives comfortable, and every bit counts — especially the organic vegetables and fruits.”

It’s easy to enroll for WIC benefits, and all appointments are being conducted remotely for your convenience. For more information, visit SJBPH’s WIC page or call (970) 335-2018.