My three weeks at WIC are done, which means I'm no longer getting up super early to commute to the east side. However, I've traded that for food service, where I'm going to spend two days this week getting myself to Children's by 6 a.m. to shadow order receiving and that side of things and to conduct a sanitation/safety inspection. It's all good though; it's fun to experience different sides of nutrition services within the hospital.
One fun thing (aside from holding/interacting with lots of adorable babies and little kids) about WIC was getting to go to the North Bend Farmers' Market. Every year, if your state sets aside funds for WIC participants to use at farmers' markets produce stands, the federal government will match the amount the state gives. Total funds do not provide enough for all participants to receive farmers' market checks, and it's not a massive amount per family but it's a great way for families to get a few more fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, in WA state, if they qualify for SNAP, they also get Fresh Bucks, which are awesome, double their SNAP money, and increase fruit/vegetable consumption. Anyway, this year, we were handing out WIC farmers' market checks at the market rather than at the clinic, hoping this would boost redemption rates (if people get them then don't use them, funding is likely to get decreased the next year. Like many busy families, it's easy to have good intentions, but never manage to act on it; if they come get the checks at the market, they're more likely to use them while they're already there).
This farmers' market was quite small, but so much fun, and in a beautiful setting, with Mount Si right there, and a big open green space for people to sit and play on. We also had fruit and vegetable memory cards that kids could color and then break apart to play memory with, some fruit and vegetable bilingual books to give out, and the coolest stickers - like the stickers you get at the doctor, except that you get two squares, one which is an empty garden, and the other which are fruit/vegetable stickers that you can put on the other sticker to make your garden.
When things were slow at our table, I wandered around to all the vendors. I snagged a lovely bouquet of flowers right at the beginning of the market:
Ryan and I were planning to go back with the boys the next week, but then he had an on-call day and it turned out to be way too hot, so we'll do that later in the summer (see what good intentions we have!). We have plenty of nearby farmers' markets, but need to take the car on more long trips anyway to recharge its battery, plus this one will be less crowded, is open later than our nearest market, and will make for a fun evening trip with the kids.
I also had to create a bulletin board for the clinic while I was there; they wanted a board for World Breastfeeding Week (starts tomorrow!) that highlighted the breastfeeding support resources available at the clinic:
I always thought my elementary school teachers were so impressive with how quickly/masterfully they stapled things onto the bulletin boards and put together such awesome boards when I was a kid. This simple board probably took me way longer than it would've taken any of my teachers, but it was fun to put together.