The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — better known as the WIC Program is a very successful federal-funded initiative.
Its mission is to provide free support to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and post-partum women and children under age five who are considered to be at nutritional risk.
The program does this by providing healthy foods to supplement diets, healthcare referrals, and information regarding healthy eating.
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- Non-breastfeeding postpartum women
- Toddlers and children up to age 5
In a typical month, women in the program receive $11 per month for fresh fruit and vegetables, while children receive $9 per month.
All women and children 1–4 years old enrolled in the WIC Program will receive a temporary increase in the amount of benefits to buy fruits and vegetables to $35 per participant per month, from June to September 2021.
That's an extra $105 per month for a single mother of two.
Applicants must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist who must determine whether the individual is indeed at nutrition risk. In many cases, this health screening is done at no cost to the applicant.
WIC FAQ #
What is the income limit for WIC? #
To be eligible on the basis of income, your gross income, i.e. before taxes are withheld, must be less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level and at least one nutrition risk has to be documented.
Currently about $773 a week for a family of three. The eligibility guidelines for WIC are shown here.
Those who are eligible to receive SNAP benefits, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) automatically meet the income eligibility requirement.
How do I find out if I qualify for WIC? #
The WIC Prescreening Tool is often used to determine whether or not you might qualify for WIC benefits.
This online prescreening tool might ask you to enter the amounts of your household’s earned (wages, tips, etc.) and unearned income (child support, unemployment benefits, SSI, etc.).
How do I apply for WIC? #
To apply for WIC, you need to contact a local WIC office or call the toll-free number to set up an appointment where the representative will tell you the location nearest your home and what documents you need to bring with you.
What food does WIC provide? #
Recipients usually receive aid in the form of checks or vouchers that can be used at designated food stores buy foods — milk, eggs, cereal, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, etc, — each of these helps keep pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies and children healthy and strong.
For women who do not fully breastfeed, iron-fortified infant formula will be provided for up to 6 months after the pregnancy ends.
How long does WIC last? #
WIC is designed as a short-term program, with eligible recipients usually receiving benefits for six (6) to twelve (12) months. At which time, you will need to reapply, if you wish to continue participating in the program.
If you move between states, you have the right to have your WIC transferred to a different district or a different state, as long as there is proof that you’re the recipient of WIC program in another state.