MONICA: “One-stop for learning and WIC nutrition services”

MONICA: "One-stop for learning and WIC nutrition services"

“How can we better serve the community, particularly the west side of Detroit?”

“I’m the nutrition manager for New St. Paul Head Start and registered dietitian and WIC coordinator for New St. Paul’s new WIC office at 7800 West Outer Drive, Suite 200, open on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We asked ourselves, how can we better serve the community, particularly the west side of Detroit? Head Start and WIC serve similar families, and both programs offer great support for pregnant mothers and families with young children. As we spoke with WIC administrators about how New St. Paul Head Start might be able to partner, it worked for New St. Paul to open a clinic.

Families who meet Early Head Start and Head Start guidelines automatically meet income guidelines for WIC. The new location offers not only a convenient location for our families, but for the community with another much-needed WIC clinic on the west side.

Mothers complete a questionnaire and establish a baseline at their initial visit. We identify any nutritional risk factors – under/over-weight for the pregnant mother, infant or young child, diabetes, high blood pressure, exposure to smoking, iron or lead – and provide nutrition education, counseling and/or support. We provide breastfeeding support, and offer referrals for dental, medical and much more. In addition to nutrition education, families receive EBT cards for purchasing healthy foods, such as whole grain rice, pasta, breads and cereal, beans, dairy and fresh fruits and vegetables (with a cash incentive). We want to give mom and baby everything they need to grow and thrive.

I’ve been with New St. Paul for almost 20 years now. I wasn’t planning on being here that long, but I can honestly say it’s always been challenging and fulfilling. The new WIC clinic is just the latest example of rewarding work.”

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