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Jenny Lassiter (Courtesy)

WIC, the Women Infants and Children Program, is kicking off this summer with a bang. NET Health WIC is partnering with the East Texas Food Bank to provide summer meals for kids at both WIC locations in Tyler. It all starts on Monday with a kickoff event to celebrate the Summer Food Program at WIC. The program also kicks off at our NET Health WIC offices in Jacksonville, Henderson, Canton, Palestine, Athens and Marshall.

Children 18 and under are welcome to join us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a free lunch during the Summer Food Program at WIC. Since many kids depend on school meals, these lunches will help bridge the gap for parents who struggle to feed active kids who are home during those long summer days. A snack is also provided from 1 to 3 p.m. each day. A WIC staff person will facilitate lunch and snacks each day and even include some games or activities most days. Come join us and bring a friend!

WIC is hoping to offer meals and snacks to children as they come in for appointments during summer months. For families who aren’t familiar with WIC, joining in at lunch time will allow families time to learn more about WIC and the services provided to families with children under 5 years old.

If summer lunch isn’t enough to get you out of the house, the Farmers Market of East Texas and Rose City Farmers Market will join us at our WIC locations on Thursdays in June and July. These markets are open to the community, and families who qualify for WIC also may be eligible to receive voucher booklets to use at the local farmers markets. WIC will issue the booklets 8:30 a.m. to noon on Thursdays. On Saturdays, visit the regular market locations for booklets at the times and locations noted below.

Imagine a summer of fresh produce to add to your summer meals and barbecues! At WIC, we’re all about adding some color to your meals. A quick trip to the farmers market will help add loads of color to your plate, like fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and melons. The peaches are to die for and if you show up before they’re gone, you may snag some fresh strawberries, too.

A variety of colorful produce in your diet means naturally adding antioxidants and vitamins that you may not get otherwise. Many fruits and veggies have fiber as well and a water content that helps keep you hydrated in the hot summer months. WIC is excited to offer families the option to feed their children during the summertime and provide farmers market voucher booklets to help stock your pantry with produce. It’s a double win for WIC families this summer! Don’t miss out!

For more information on these summer events, check out our Tyler WIC Facebook pages or see below for details.

n Summer Food Program: June 3-Aug. 16 at Tyler WIC locations (815 N. Broadway Ave. and 225 E. Amherst Drive). For Summer Food Program dates and locations outside of Smith County, visit easttexasfoodbank.org or call WIC at 903-593-8331.

n WIC Farmers Market: Thursdays in June and July at both Tyler WIC locations from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

n Farmers Market of East Texas: Open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays for voucher booklets at 2112 W. Front St. (within the East Texas Fairgrounds Pavilion).

n Rose City Farmers Market: Open 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays for voucher booklets at 302 S. Broadway Ave. (parking lot by Unclaimed Furniture).

NET Health will continue to talk about a variety of health issues that hold importance to your community. Let us know if you have questions about our article, or if you have a topic or topics that you want us to cover, by sending us an email at ContactUs@netphd.org.

Jenny Lassiter is assistant WIC director.