Bell County Public Health District WIC Program is stepping up to ensure children get a healthy meal during the summer and onward.

According to a press release, nearly two-and-a-half million Texas children qualify for free or reduced meals during the school year.

However, only 11 percent of those two-and-a-half million enroll into the Summer Meals program.

“Many children get two free meals a day at school. So when school is out, that’s ten additional meals a family has to provide. Many of these families have children under age five who are also eligible for WIC. Signing up for WIC can help families stretch their dollars,” said Bell County Public Health District’s WIC Director, Nikki Morrow, IBCLC.

Morrow and the Bell County WIC offices are kickstarting their campaign to reach out to families eligible for WIC, so that they can receive aid for the extra meals in the summer.

“WIC is so much more than a food program," Morrow said. "The food we provide is shown to reduce childhood obesity, and our Registered Dietitians give families valuable guidance that can keep Texas families not only fed but healthy."

The Bell County Public Health District WIC Program, which has offices in Temple, Killeen, Copperas Cove and Fort Hood, will begin to participate in the Central Texas Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry. The WIC Program will be at the mobile food pantry sites in Temple on the fourth Wednesday of each month at Ferguson Park, and in Copperas Cove on the second Thursday of each month at Holy Family St. Vincent de Paul.