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WIC Overseas benefits Airmen

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Women, Infants and Children, commonly known as WIC, is a program that helps expectant mothers or those with young children by providing some of the basic essentials that are important in the first years of a baby's life.

Some of the services include providing families with information on healthy eating habits as well as providing coupons to purchase baby formula and other health foods.

One community member that benefits from the WIC Overseas Program is Christian DiDonna, whose parents brought him to have his weight and height measured as part of the program that helps ensure that his growth is on track.

Parents involved in WIC may use a variety of the services provided under the program, tailoring their needs to help develop their children along the most desirable path.

One of the biggest means of assistance that parents get out of WIC is help in obtaining baby food products that they may not be able to purchase or provide to their children.

"We issue monthly drafts that our participants redeem at the commissary for specific food items," said Adora Carolino, a health counselor at Yokota Air Base's WIC Overseas office. "We cover a lot of nutritional information and also do referrals to other organizations on base that are able to help."

Taking on the responsibility of raising a child is by no means a cheap endeavor. While food coupons WIC offers to families save them only dollars at a time, that little bit of saved money goes a long way in providing the family with the ability to create a stable future.

Christian's father, Steven DiDonna said, "It's about $20 every coupon that we turn in ... it's three times a month, and that's $60 a month. That chunk of change right there helps out quite a bit."

Yokota service members who want to find out if they qualify for the WIC Overseas Program may call them at 225-9426.