The Women, Infant, and Children program is commonly referred to as the WIC program across the United States. If you are pregnant or having an infant that breastfeeds, then you should check what does WIC provides during pregnancy and what support it provides to infants in their first year.
WIC Eligibility requirements
WIC is a nutrition and food program for new moms, pregnant women, and children under 5 years of age. Through the WIC program, pregnant women, mothers, and children receive financial support from the federal and state government together to purchase food and receive information about breastfeeding, healthy nutrition and acquire referrals to other healthcare communities and resources.
What does WIC provide during pregnancy?
The WIC Program is committed to providing breastfeeding support and encourages the associated community to do so. The infants and babies who do not fully breastfeed, iron-rich fortified infant formula is available for them to have in the first year of their lives. The states follow a contract with the infant formula providers to retail infant formula at a reduced price.
For the first six months, an infant can also receive cereals, vegetables, and fruits that are suitable at this age. On the other hand, infants who fully breastfeed may also receive other infant substances.
Food for children and Women
Pregnant, postpartum women and children under the age of five years eligible for the WIC program can receive benefits for food such as milk, eggs, cheese, cereals, dry beans, peanut butter, canned beans/peas, and vegetables and fruit juices. Plus, fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains choices may include tortillas, bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. Women that breastfeed infants may also become eligible to receive extra food assistance which may include tuna fish and canned seafood.
Special nutritional supplements and formulas can also be an option for eligible women and children with significant medical conditions. A sample package for an infant of 1 month contains:
- Milk – 3 gallons
- Cheese – 1 pound
- Eggs – 1 dozen
- Cereal – 36 ounces
- Peanut butter – 18-ounce jar
- Peanut dry – 16 ounce
- Beans/Peas – 4 cans
- Juices – 2 bottles / 64 ounces
- Whole grains – 2 pounds
- Vegetables and fruits of costing $8.00
Through WIC financial assistance, women can receive nutritional education that includes:
- Feeding toddlers and infants
- Prenatal weight gain
- Iron deficiency in children or Anemia
- Health issues related to childhood growth and development
Counseling For high-risk Nutrition
For special nutritional needs, WIC registered dietitians counsel the participants to cope up with the nutritional needs and the medical issues.
WIC also works rigorously with the healthcare community to provide and receive referrals from the public and private health providers to the needy social and health care participants. WIC refers its eligible mothers for immunizations, counseling for substance abuse, prenatal care, lead screening, smoking, other healthcare programs, and much more.
WIC Food Package 1 for women and children
Maximum monthly supplement allowance
|Food package 4
|Food package 5 Pregnant, partially/mostly breastfeeding mothers till 1 year||Food Package 6
Postpartum up to 6 months
|Juice, single strength||128 fl. oz.||144 fl oz.||96 fl oz.|
|Breakfast cereal 3||36 oz||36 oz||36 oz|
|Milk 2||16 qt||22 qt||16 qt|
|Fruits and vegetables||$8 value vouchers||$11 value vouchers||$11 value vouchers|
|Eggs||1 dzn||1 dzn||1 dzn|
|Whole wheat bread 4||2 lb||1 lb||N/A|
|Legumes, dry/canned peanut butter||1 lb (64 oz canned) or 18 oz||1 lb (64 oz canned) and 18 oz||1 lb (64 oz canned) or 18 oz|
WIC Food Package 1 for Infants
Maximum monthly supplement allowance for packages I, II, III
Fully Formula Fed
|Foods||Package I & III
A: 0-3 months
B: 4-5 months
|Package II & III
|Package I & III
A: 0-1 months
C: 4-5 moths
|Package II & III
|WIC Formula||A: 806 fl oz reconstituted liquid concentrate
B: 884 fl ounces reconstituted liquid concentrate
|324 fl ounces reconstituted liquid concentrate||A: 1 can powder
B:364 fl ounces reconstituted liquid concentrate
C: 442 fl ounces reconstituted liquid concentrate
|312 fl ounces reconstituted liquid concentrate|
|Fruits & Vegetables and baby food||128 ounces||128 ounces|
|Infant cereals||24 ounces||24 ounces|
|Baby food meat||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
How to apply for WIC participation?
USDA Food and Nutrition Service control the WIC food and financial assistance program at the Federal level, while state agencies particularly are obligated to determine the eligibility of the participants and for providing the services and benefits for registered vendors.
When you feel that you want to be a WIC participant, you need to request an appointment through your local state agency. To make the appointment request, contact a toll-free number or look at your state’s local agency website. After requesting an appointment, a coordinator will inform you to visit your nearest location and will tell you what you need to bring on your appointment day.
Who is eligible for the WIC program?
- During pregnancy
- 6 weeks after giving birth
- When pregnancy ends
Postpartum/ New moms
- From giving birth up to 6 months
- Up to 12 months
- Up to 60 months or till they reach 5 years of age.
What are the income requirements for WIC participation?
Individuals willing to participate in the WIC program are required to meet the income level or be below the level set by the local state agency. These state agencies set the income standards according to the guidelines of poverty income issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services annually.
Oftentimes participants for the WIC program are determined by the eligibility for other financial support programs such as: