Pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 are eligible. They must meet income guidelines, a State residency requirement, and be individually determined to be at "nutritional risk" by a health professional. To be eligible on the basis of income, applicants' gross income (ex. before taxes are withheld) must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines.
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WIC participants receive checks or vouchers to purchase specific foods each month that are designed to supplement their diets with specific nutrients that benefit WIC’s target population. WIC foods include:
The following were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants:
WIC recognizes and promotes breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for infants. For women who do not fully breastfeed, WIC provides iron-fortified infant formula. Special infant formulas and medical foods may be provided when prescribed by a physician for a specified medical condition.
Only a WIC authorized food store can accept WIC checks. Look for the WIC logo or WIC poster to identify stores that accept WIC checks. You can also consult with your WIC counselor to find a store near you.
The WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), established in 1992, provides additional coupons to WIC participants that they can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets. The program has two goals: To provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables, from farmers' markets to WIC participants who are at nutritional risk; and to expand consumers' awareness and use of farmers' markets.