Sinai Debuts WIC Culinary Program

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthSinai Community Institute (SCI) introduced its latest program to help benefit women and children part of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. On Tuesday, members of SCI unveiled the WIC Culinary Program designed to improve the quality of health through nutrition education for women and children who are part of the WIC program.

During Tuesday’s unveil, participants enjoyed ‘A Taste of WIC,’ that featured twelve stations and two dozen chefs who used WIC food instruments, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, and milk, to name a few, as primary ingredients for 24 different dishes. In addition to sampling the many dishes, attendees had the opportunity to express how they have benefited from the WIC program.

WIC Culinary Program Overview

WIC is a nutrition program created to improve the health and nutritional state of women, infants and children and to help parents feed their children properly during critical periods of growth, according to SCI spokesperson. Some WIC sites are located in food deserts making it a challenge for women to access fresh produce. Clients receive access to fresh foods as well as education and instruction on food preparation.

Culinary Initiatives

  • Smart Shopper Program – A partnership was created in 2007 with Whole Foods that provides monthly visits to Whole Foods for pregnant women. Through that partnership, WIC moms learn how to shop for food and how to incorporate healthy foods into their diet. Clients also enjoy a nutritious meal prepared by a chef. They sample foods, go on guided store tours and have an opportunity to purchase up to $100 of food items.
  • Fresh Moves Bus – The mobile produce market, a retrofitted public transportation bus, visits WIC sites weekly. Clients are able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables as well as learn more about how much fun it is to eat healthy.
  • WIC Culinary Program – In 2011, WIC was awarded a grant from the USDA to create an on-site culinary program/test kitchen to provide cooking education and instruction for all WIC clients, not just pregnant moms. The grant provided funds for renovation of an existing space and to purchase equipment. The WIC Culinary Program is the first of its kind. Having a program on site and accessible for WIC clients is proving to be beneficial and has been well received by clients. If you would like to learn more about the WIC program, call SCI at 773-257-6936 or visit,

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