Nutrition education program to go online for WIC clients

Taney County, MO. -- There will soon be a new way for families to participate in the WIC nutrition education program. Clients will be able to access the lessons online starting in October.

The program will help people learn about health habits while gaining more access to food for their family.

Meanwhile, other programs in the county are also providing free, fresh food for people in need.

"Money is, kind of, after rent and everything, money is hard to come by. So, this place helps us out a lot," Christian Action Ministries Client Christopher Neal said.

At Christian Action Ministries, or CAM, they provide food to about 4,000 people per month in Taney County.

"What we try to do is help from a food stand-point," Vice-Chairman of the CAM Board Jim Lawson said. "We are really working hard to provide healthy food, vegetables, fruits."

It is food that, families agree, can be pretty pricey.

"Fruit, kind of, costs a lot, the good stuff does, but [my kids] love it," Neal said.

However, in Taney County not only are there places to get fresh foods for families, but also resources to learn how and why to use them in their homes.

"That is out goal, to provide nutrition education, to help parents and families become healthier," WIC Nutritionist Jodie Boff said.

Boff says the new online tool is putting that info at people's fingertips.

"If they've done a lesson, then they want to look back at healthy recipes or five tips for physical activity," Boff said.

She says the online lessons replace in-person nutrition courses for some WIC cliets. Then, they exchange their online certification for WIC food vouchers.

"So it's going to free up staff time and more time for the clients," Boff said. "More people seen at a more efficient rate."

The goal is to help more locals learn about nutrition, as they get the food they need for their families.

"Trying to make a difference in people's lives," Lawson said.

Food Pantry Locations & Hours:

CAM Branson Pantry
Hours: Monday-Friday Noon-3 p.m.
610 South Sixth St., Ste. 102
Branson, MO 65616
Phone: 417.334.1157

CAM Forsyth Pantry:
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
10726 E. Highway 76
Forsyth, MO 65653
Phone: 417.251.0260

Salvation Army Food Pantry:
1114 Stanley Ave.
Branson, MO 65616
Phone: 417.339.4434

Website for WIC Nutrition Program: www.wichealth.org