New York State Department of Health Welcomes U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Torres Small to Highlight Collaborative Commitment to Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Programs

New York State WIC Program Serves 427,664 New Yorkers Statewide

Find Details About New York's WIC Program & How To Apply Here

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 8, 2023) –The New York State Department of Health today welcomed U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small to Syracuse to visit the Onondaga County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office and highlight the state's collaborative commitment to nutrition programs in New York State.

"Thank you to the committed staff at the Onondaga County clinic for hosting USDA and for their efforts to ensure Syracuse mothers, families, infants and children are able to receive vital Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits," said USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. "Their dedication directly results in better life outcomes for the children and babies that benefit from their services. We know that providing children and families access to healthy, nutritious food means better health outcomes, higher cognitive functions, and a brighter future for our nation"

"Nutrition and food security remain foundational to good overall health and improving health outcomes for children and adults," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "Through the state's continued partnership with the USDA and our dedicated County Health Departments, we remain committed to ensuring thousands of families across New York have access to healthy, nutritious food with a focus on improving health equity."

This visit underscores the New York State Department of Health's continued commitment to work with local and federal partners to ensure every mom, baby, and child has access to the nutrition they deserve. During the visit, Deputy Secretary Torres had an opportunity to tour the facility and meet with stakeholders before meeting with local WIC participants.

State Health Associate Commissioner, Regional Director for Central New York Maria McPherson said, "Participating in WIC helps pregnant women and their babies by providing access to food, nutrition education, breast feeding support, and referrals to other needed programs. WIC educators and nutritionists listen and guide each participant towards meeting their own nutrition goals. We look forward to continued collaboration with Onondaga County Health Department and all of the WIC programs serving our communities."

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Kathryn Anderson said, "We are thrilled at the high level of participation among our Onondaga County community members who can benefit from WIC. From pregnancy through a child's early years, our youngest community members are getting a healthy head start thanks to the nutritious foods, education, guidance, and support our WIC staff provide. We are grateful to be able to work with our State and Federal WIC partners in supporting the health of Central New York's next generation."

Participation in WIC has been associated with healthier births, improved birth weights, reduced risk of infant mortality, and better access to primary and preventive health care, among other positive health outcomes.

The program serves 9,118 in Onondaga County and 427,664 in New York State. WIC allows individuals to make appointments at local sites across the state or over the phone.

Learn more about the WIC program in New York State here.