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WELFARE

WIC: What kind of help does the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children offer?

Learn more about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children or WIC, and what kind of food assistance it offers.

Learn more about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children or WIC, and what kind of food assistance it offers.
Jesús Hellín Europa Press

The federal government, through the Department of Agriculture (USDA), implements several nutritional programs. The best known is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but there is another one called the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Find out what it is and what types of help it offers.

WIC: What kind of help does the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children offer?

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is a federal assistance program of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service for the health care and nutrition of low-income pregnant women, lactating women, and children under five years of age.

The WIC program aims to “protect the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age through nutritious foods, information on healthy eating, and medical referrals.”

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Like SNAP, WIC benefits are delivered using an electronic benefits transfer card (EBT). This can be used like a debit card to buy certain foods at authorized stores. Among the benefits and services offered by WIC are:

  • WIC Food Packages
  • Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding
  • Revitalizing Quality Nutrition Services in the WIC Program
  • WIC Works Resource System
  • Nutrition Services Standards
  • Immunizations and referrals
  • WIC Special Project Grants
  • WIC Special Project Grants

WIC services are available to:

  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women
  • Postpartum women who do not breastfeed
  • Infants
  • Toddlers and kids up to age 5

On the USDA web portal you can check if you are eligible to receive help from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

WIC benefits are administered in each state, so eligibility requirements vary. However, these requirements are often related to applicants’ residence, income, and nutritional risk.

Because each state administers its own program, the recommendation is to contact the state agency in charge of these services.