Women, Infants, and Children Offices

This site provides information about the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program including how to apply, who WIC is for, what foods you can buy with your benefits, WIC clinics near you and other important information about the program.

Who is WIC for?

In 1966, the Child Nutrition Act first authorized the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides financial help to low-income women, infants, and children. A two-year pilot program kicked things off in 1974.

As a result, states receive federal funding to help feed low-income mothers in their pregnancy and postpartum stages and their newborns and young children who are nutritionally at risk. This funding is also utilized for healthcare referrals and nutrition education for these populations of people.

For over four decades, the WIC program has helped women get pregnant and their children well-nourished to succeed in school. To help you and your family live a healthier lifestyle, the program offers nutritional counseling, parenting advice, breastfeeding support, food aid, and referrals.

WIC is a short-term program that aims to enhance your family’s long-term nutrition and health. When a child under five lives with a parent or guardian who is not the child’s biological or adoptive parent, the WIC program can help.

How Can WIC Help?

For pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, infants, and children up to the age of five, WIC supplies oxygen and nutrients, breastfeeding support, health education, and other programs that is completely free. WIC instructs expectant and nursing mothers on the proper nutrition for themselves and their growing children.

We understand that money is scarce. When you use WIC, you can save money on food and spend it on other necessities for your family. As a WIC participant, you can help your entire family become healthier.

How is WIC Funded?

WIC is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition assistance program for low-income women, infants, and children (USDA). Funding for the program comes from the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Committees each year. WIC’s yearly budget proposal is developed by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) (Oct 1-Sept 30). The funding process determines how much Congress allocates to the program each year.

Upon passage and signature into the allocation law, monies are distributed to each state and managed at the community scale by county and city medical centers or private non-profits. See how each state’s WIC funding is allocated in more detail.

Typical Benefits Provided by WIC

In addition to free food, WIC women receive various farm-saved products such as beans, cereals, infant formula, juice, and milk. These women are also provided vouchers to purchase WIC-approved fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. Nutrition instruction and counseling and linkages to other health, welfare, and social services are part of the services offered.

Applying for WIC

WIC may automatically enroll clients who are eligible for the following programs:

  • Medicaid
  • SNAP, previously known as “food stamps,” is a federal nutrition assistance program.
  • Families Who Qualify For Temporary Assistance (TANF, formerly known as AFDC, or Aid to Families with Dependent Children)

Eligibility Requirements

People who want to apply for WIC benefits don’t have to be enrolled in any other assistance program. A person is eligible if they fall into one of the categories listed:

  • Pregnant
  • After the birth of a child (up to six months after the end of the pregnancy)
  • Breastfeeding (until the child turns one year old)

For eligibility, a household must make between 100 and 185 percent of the federal poverty level, which varies by state. It is only possible to determine a candidate’s nutritional status after an examination by a medical professional. In many circumstances, this service is available at no cost to the applicant through the WIC clinic.

Categorical Requirement

Women, babies, and children who meet certain criteria are eligible for WIC benefits. The following people are therefore eligible for WIC in all respects:


  • For up to six weeks following the birth of a child or the end of a pregnancy, pregnant women
  • After the birth of a child
  • Breastfeeding (until the child reaches the age of one)

Residential Requirement

To apply, applicants must be residents of the state where they are interested. Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) administer WIC in some locations, and those applicants must meet the ITO’s residence standards. Candidates may be made to stay in a designated service area and apply at a local clinic to be eligible for state-sponsored benefits. The residency criterion for WIC does not require applicants to live in the state or the local service facilities for a predetermined period.

Income Requirement

WIC is only available to low-income women and children who meet the state’s income guidelines or participate in other programs that automatically qualify them for benefits.

Income Assumption. The federal poverty criteria (published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services) mandate that the state agency’s income requirement must be between 100 percent and 185 per cent of the federal poverty guidelines.

Automatic Income Eligibility

WIC may be eligible for some candidates depending on their involvement in certain government programs. Individuals were also included:

  • SNAP, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs are all available to you (TANF, formerly known as AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children),
  • TANF, Medicaid, or both, depending on the circumstances, for some members of the family
  • Individuals eligible to enroll in other government programs may do so at the agency’s discretion.

Nutrition Risk Requirement

Applicants must be evaluated by a health expert, such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist, to establish if the individual is at risk for malnutrition. In many circumstances, at no cost to the applicant through the WIC clinic. A healthcare professional such as the individual’s physician can provide this information.

Individuals with medical or dietary issues are considered at “nutrition risk.” medical-based problems include anemia (low blood levels), obesity, and a history of poor pregnancy outcomes. A poor diet is one example of a condition caused by diet.

To determine if a candidate is feeble, they must have their height and weight measured and their blood work. Applicants must meet one of the state’s WIC nutrition risk criteria to qualify for WIC.

To help potential WIC applicants identify whether or not they are qualified for WIC benefits, the WIC Prescreening Tool was developed as a web-based tool. State-specific contact information is offered to users who may be eligible for WIC services, and they are urged to schedule a WIC certification visit with their local WIC agency. Also given is a printable overview of the responses and examples of the paperwork required during the first certification session for users.

Apply in Your Home State

You can get a list of state WIC offices, phone numbers, and websites from the USDA. Applicants may also submit their applications in several locations, including county health departments, hospitals, and clinics on wheels, community centers, public housing developments, and Native American health care facilities.

WIC Health Outcomes?

WIC is helpful in numerous studies:

  • A reduction in premature births and low birth weight newborns would be beneficial,
  • Ensure that fewer babies are born dead.
  • Prevent anemia caused by a lack of iron
  • Prenatal care should be made available early in the pregnancy.
  • Iron, protein, calcium, and vitamins A and C should be increased in pregnant women’s diets.
  • Boost the number of people who are vaccinated.
  • Raise nutritional standards and make health care more widely available

WIC Background

The National Nutrition Survey of 1967 revealed alarming nutritional and health patterns among low-income Americans, leading to the creation of the WIC program. Some senators, including Hubert Humphrey, developed legislation in 1972 in reaction to the results of a study.

WIC was launched as a test program that year, but only children under the age of four were eligible, and postpartum women who were not breastfeeding were not included. By 1974 the program was available in 45 states. In 1975, the program was declared permanent, and the eligibility requirements include children up to five and women not breastfeeding up to six months after childbirth, respectively.

WIC Benefits And Revisions

WIC food packages are the primary benefit. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and infants and children benefit from the nutrient-dense meal package, which is not meant to be a main source of nutrition but rather a supplement. The food package aims to help beneficiaries avoid health problems from eating a nutritionally deficient diet.

Each beneficiary category received a unique bundle of foods based on their specific needs following the 2007 changes to the program. This program only provided vouchers redeemable for specific quantities of food, such as milk, based on the amount purchased.

It is now possible to redeem an actual money voucher for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables up to the dollar amount. Distribution centers are set up in warehouses, and participants’ homes are also possible in some states.

Electronic benefit cards are available in some states instead of checks or vouchers for participants. All state agencies will have to issue electronic benefit cards by October 2020.

There was also an increase in the number of alternatives, such as soy-based beverages, brown rice, soft corn tortillas and tofu, and whole-grain bread and juices removed from infant food packages. The changes also reduced the fat content of milk and cut the level of milk that could be replaced by cheese.

The maximum monthly salary for all WIC foods is accessible to all program participants, regardless of their family’s income level. When a participant declines or cannot use the highest recorded WIC allocation, the WIC agency in her state may adapt her food package accordingly.

Benefits not included in the WIC program include breastfeeding support, infant formula, nutrition education, healthcare, and other support services.

A licensed lactation educator assists participants who wish to breastfeed in learning about the advantages of breastfeeding and in practicing proper breastfeeding procedures.

The program offers iron-fortified newborn formula to members who cannot exclusively breastfeed their children, and members may need a prescription to obtain specific infant formulas and foods.

As part of the WIC program, state agencies are legally compelled to compete for contracts with infant formula manufacturers, which mean that the agencies agree to provide one brand of formula in return for a rebate from the company every time infant formula is purchased through WIC. A greater number of people will be able to participate in the program because of the rebates.

Attending free health and nutrition seminars offered by the WIC program is a great way for WIC participants to learn more about their own dietary needs and how to prevent illness.

Those participating in the WIC program are also given aid and direction in finding other vital resources, such as child clinics, pregnancy classes, and drug and alcohol treatment centers.

Common Questions

What is the WIC program in the U.S.?

The Women, Infants, and Children Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC) is a federal grant program that assists low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to the age of 5 who are found to need supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education. These benefits are provided to states through the WIC program.

How long do you get WIC in Florida?

You can remain in the WIC program if you match the eligibility mentioned above criteria. Breastfeeding moms are eligible for WIC services for the first year after their baby is born. WIC benefits are available to mothers who are not breastfeeding for six months after the birth of their child.

Can single fathers get WIC?

Pregnant and breastfeeding women and parents of children under 5 are eligible for WIC benefits. WIC is also available to parents who have sole custody of their children, such as foster parents, guardians, and single fathers. Your household income must fall below a certain threshold to qualify for WIC.

How much does WIC pay per month?

WIC offers a median of $62 per person monthly to buy healthy food. EatSF fruit and vegetable coupons are available to pregnant participants for an additional $40 per month.

How many infants born in the U.S. participate in WIC?

National WIC coverage rates for each year and participant group. Nearly half of all U.S. newborns (1.7 million) qualified for the WIC program in 2018. 98 percent of newborns eligible for WIC took part in this study, which means they received or acquired their benefits.