Additional space allows for new WIC Café and expanded participant services

SHAWNEE, Okla.—Citizen Potawatomi Nation has moved its Women, Infant and Children program to a new 4,000 square foot building. The additional space will allow CPN WIC to continue to provide supplemental food and nutrition services to participants in a more comfortable and confidential atmosphere.

“This new building was much needed to improve our current services and to add more services as the needs of our communities change and grow,” said Linda Capps, Vice Chairman, Citizen Potawatomi Nation. “This program makes our communities stronger by providing nutrition services and support to the mothers and children who live here.”

The program was previously located in 1,500 square foot office in the corner of FireLake Discount Foods, which limited the services and confidentially for participants.

“We have expanded our services, but have never expanded our office space,” said Shelley Schneider, Director, CPN WIC. “This new building will allow us to keep our existing services, introduce additional services and increase participant confidentiality and that will be beneficial for the mothers and children in our communities.”

WIC participants will be able to attend cooking demos in the
new WIC Café.

The new location includes a larger waiting area with a play room, a private breastfeeding room, WIC Café and additional office and storage space.

“This new location will make my appointments so much easier,” said Madison Long, WIC participant. “The extra room in the waiting area and the play spaces make it more comfortable and easy, especially when you have an active child.”

Additional educational services and nutrition counseling services will be offered because of the new WIC Café and confidential meeting rooms.

“We tried to have WIC Café in the previous location and didn’t have the space. It was dangerous to do cooking demonstrations in such a small area,” said Cheryl Richardson, Nutrition and Breastfeeding Coordinator, CPN WIC. “We have a full size kitchen now and that will allow us to educated participants on better food choices and show them different meal options with WIC approved foods.”

A breastfeeding room will provide privacy for mothers.

CPN has operated the WIC program for more than 34 years and currently serves a seven county area in central Oklahoma. The seven counties include Pottawatomie, Cleveland, Lincoln, Logan, Payne, Oklahoma, and Seminole counties. The monthly average service population includes 260 women, 300 infants, and 720 children.

“Shelley Schneider has been in charge of the CPN WIC program since it began,” added Linda Capps. “We are proud of the tremendous progress she and her staff have made throughout the years.”

The total project cost was $554,880 and was funded by an infrastructure grant provided by United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service program.