Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a supplemental food and nutrition education program for pregnant and breast feeding women. This includes women who just had a baby who are not breast feeding, and infants and children up to age five.
WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is commonly referred to as the WIC Program.
WIC is available to pregant, breat feeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5. To participate, these persons must:
If you would like to see if you are eligible for WIC benefits take the WIC prescreening tool by click here.
WIC reduces infant mortality. WIC connects pregnant women to prenatal care, provides nutritious foods and encourages health-promoting behaviors. These factors are linked to positive birth outcomes (USDA, 2012).
WIC saves public health care dollars. Women who participate in WIC are less likely to have pre-term or low-birth weight babies, contributing to healthier babies and reduced medical costs (Institute of Medicine, 2006).
WIC improves children’s health. Children who participate in WIC are more likely to receive regular preventive health services and are better immunized than other low-income children who do not participate in WIC (USDA, 2012).
WIC improves infant feeding practices and diet quality. WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding as the optimal infant feeding choice. In addition, revisions to the WIC Food Package have resulted in increased intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy among WIC participants (USDA, 2012; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2015).
WIC supports cognitive development. Research shows that WIC services can mitigate the harmful effects of poor nutrition during critical periods of growth and development, leading to lifelong cognitive gains (USDA, 2012).
WIC enhances community food environments. Revisions to the WIC Food Package, and thus changes in the foods available at WIC-authorized stores, have increased the availability of healthy foods for all individuals living in low-income communities (USDA, 2015).
Information from: "WIC Makes a Difference" section, located at the Nutrition NC website.