The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - better known as the WIC Program - serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, & children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.
History of WIC
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program was created as a pilot program in 1972. The program became permanent in 1975. It was created because of concern about malnutrition among low-income mothers and children. WIC has had a lot of growth since the beginning. It now serves more people in the United States than ever.
Number of Participants:
|2004||approximately 7.9 million|
WIC is available in all 50 states, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, America Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Commonwealth Islands of the Northern Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Description of the WIC Program
WIC provides supplemental nutritious food, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion, and referrals to other agencies. WIC is not an entitlement program. It is for low-income pregnant, post-partum, or breastfeeding women and their children, up to age five. Participants must have a nutrition risk. They must also be at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The program provides short term help to participants. WIC works with other health programs to better help participants. WIC’s help is important during critical times of growth and development. It works to decrease the risk of poor birth outcomes and to improve health.