WIC is a special supplemental nutrition program for saving the lives of at-risk women, their infant babies, and children under 5. Since 1974, the WIC program is one of the most cost-effective nutrition programs in the United States and has helped provide better health to low-income households.
How does it work?
The WIC program was started on a very basic idea that healthy pregnant women give birth to healthy babies, so the infant’s health depends on the health of his mother.
WIC program serves pregnant women, infants, and children and provides them with nutritional care like food, nutritional supplements, and education. Every year, the federal government assigns a particular amount of funds to the WIC program. State agencies spend these funds to provide WIC food, education, and nutrition to people belonging from low-income families that fall under WIC criteria.
Let’s find out what kinds of WIC benefits are provided to the participants. Apart from food & nutritional care, participants can access benefits like breastfeeding counselling, screening, nutritional education, substance abuse referral, etc.
To get WIC food, you need to look for a WIC store near me and you can get the stuff you need as per the program’s regulations.
WIC Program For women
Pregnant women who are the recipient of the WIC program benefit the most. There is a wide range of benefits observed over the years. Let’s take a look at them:
- Pregnant women with low-income didn’t have access to nutritious supplements and proper diet. Thanks to the WIC program, they now have access to healthy food.
- An eligible woman starts receiving WIC foods right from the first week of pregnancy until the delivery.
- The WIC program offers parental care earlier in the pregnancy.
- There is a significant drop observed in premature deliveries since the inception of this program. Women complete their pregnancy duration without any major issues.
- The WIC program has reduced the percentage of births of low weight babies.
WIC Program For infants and children
Because this program offers support to infants and children as well, so they also receive many benefits.
- Just like mothers, infants and children also get access to healthy food and essential nutritional supplements needed at the very early age of babies.
- Recipients of this program, maintain a healthy and nutritional diet throughout their early childhood.
- Children and infants who receive support from this program are observed over time and they have shown better immunization and lower anaemia rate.
- One of the major WIC benefits is that children get better access to pediatric health care facilities.
If you are a WIC program participant, then there is a good chance that you need to know about WIC stores near me. These are the stores that are WIC approved and provide WIC foods and WIC cedar.
If you are looking for a WIC store near me, then your ideal choice should be a Walmart store. It is one of the places where you can get WIC food.
You’ll not only get better grocery and food items, but there are abundant options that offer better nutritional benefits to pregnant women and children.
Other stores like Target and Publix are also great options if you’re looking for a WIC store near me. They are also WIC approved stores and you can get everything you need from them.
WIC food packages are a collection of food items and nutritional products needed for better health of pregnant women or children. WIC food items include whole-grain food, breakfast cereal, fruits & vegetables, low-fat dairy products, a range of protein-enriched food, and several other kinds of food.
In a nutshell, WIC food covers everything that is needed to maintain a proper and nutritious diet during pregnancy.
WIC education is a part of the consolidated WIC benefits. WIC education explicitly focuses on educating pregnant women and mothers about the importance of nutrition. They are taught kid-friendly recipes, helpful tips about feeding their child, and ideas to improve their family’s health. In the WIC education sessions, mothers also get nutrition advice for children with food allergies.
Under this program, pregnant women & eligible mothers can also meet a qualified nutritionist to discuss various nutrition-related things.
Who is eligible for WIC program?
Only those people who meet the following criteria are eligible for the WIC program.
- Nutrition risk
Certain individuals categorically eligible for the WIC program are:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding a child under 1 year
- Postpartum or had a pregnancy in the past 6 months
- Infants under 1 year
- Children under 5 years
The second eligibility requirement says that you should be a resident of the state where you’re applying for the WIC program. WIC doesn’t require you to live in a state for a certain period of time to become eligible for the program.
The third requirement that comes into play is the overall family income. You need to be at or below a standard set by the state agency. According to the Food and Nutrition Service U.S Department of Agriculture, the state agency’s income standard must be at 100 % or no more than 185 % of the Federal poverty guidelines.
To estimate your income, all sources of gross income, overtime earning, child support, SSI prepayments, and unemployment fund are considered as your income.
As per WIC income guidelines for 2019-2020, if your family members are 4 and your total family income is at or less than $47,638, then you are eligible for WIC program.
Another eligibility requirement is nutrition risk. A person who considers himself at nutrition risk may visit a WIC clinic for free nutrition risk assessment.
To become a WIC program recipient on the basis of nutrition risk, the person must meet the prescribed definition of ‘nutrition risk’. Generally, a person with a medical or dietary based condition is considered ‘at nutrition risk’. Some common medical conditions include anaemia and poor pregnancy history.
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