Vermont WIC’s mission is to assure healthy pregnancies, healthy birth outcomes, and healthy growth and development for women, infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk, by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, breastfeeding information and support, education on healthy eating, and referrals to health care and critical social services.
WIC supports sound nutrition during critical periods of cognitive development to mitigate the harmful effects of poverty. In fact, research shows that children whose mothers participated in WIC while pregnant scored higher on assessments of mental development at age 2 than similar children whose mothers didn’t participate.
There are also direct and indirect economic benefits associated with WIC participation. Medicaid saves up to $4.20 for every $1 spent on pregnant women who participate in WIC because pregnancies are longer, leading to fewer premature and underweight births. WIC also supplements monthly food expenses by ensuring that families have access to nutritious food, which reduces food insecurity and the risk of chronic conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.