South Carolina is receiving a $100,000 federal grant aimed at keeping more poor preschoolers enrolled in a program that provides healthy foods and nutritional advice.
The grant will help fund a new fleet of mobile clinics in South Carolina to help families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The $100,000 grant for the clinics will come out of $2 million in grants announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week.
“We are seeing a decline in WIC participation among children over the age of one, meaning the potential benefits the program offers are not being fully leveraged,” USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon said in a statement announcing the recipients. “These grants will help maximize the impact of the WIC program by supporting states’ efforts to retain participants through the toddler and preschooler years.”
About half of eligible children ages between the ages 1-4 participate in WIC programs compared to nearly 85 percent of eligible infants benefiting from WIC programs.
The mobile clinics will service five of the highest-poverty counties in South Carolina: Allendale, Bamberg, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper.