Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has received 11,000 new children’s books to be given to families with preschool children enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program. First Book, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC donated the books. First Book’s mission is to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their new books.
“Learning to read can be a magical time in a child’s life,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “We hope this will be an opportunity for parents to take some time to read aloud with their child and share in the joy of reading together.”
First Book has provided more than 55 million new books to children in thousands of communities nationwide; this was the first donation received by DHHS. C & S Wholesale Grocers in Keene shipped the books for free. C & S distributes food to supermarkets and food banks across the country and has been involved with First Book for several years.
The book distribution called “Food for the Body, Food for the Mind” will take place at WIC clinics across the State during December, January, and February. Approximately 9300 children from one to four years old will receive the books.
“Just as children need proper health and nutrition to grow healthy bodies,” said Director of Public Health Dr Jose Montero, “they also need books to help grow healthy minds. This partnership with First Book and C&S Wholesale Grocers helps get new books to children in our WIC program, and allows the Department to work directly with corporations who value literacy projects.”
WIC is a public health nutrition program for low to moderate-income pregnant women, new mothers, and preschool children. Anyone interested in applying can call 1-800-WIC-4321 to see if they meet income guidelines.