The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (commonly known as WIC) provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and access to health care to low-income, nutritionally at-risk, pregnant, post-partum, and/or breastfeeding women, as well as infants and children age four and younger. WIC’s nutrient-rich supplemental foods help prevent nutrition-related health problems and also help promote optimal growth and development in children.
WIC is primarily a federally-funded program and administered in New York State by the Department of Health (DOH).
To be eligible for WIC, participants must meet the following four criteria:
- Be a New York State resident (not necessary to be a US citizen or permanent resident);
- Fit into one of the following categories: pregnant woman, breastfeeding woman, postpartum woman, infant up to one year old, child age four or younger;
- Live at or below 185% of federal poverty level; and/or
- Be certified by health professional as nutritionally at-risk.
Participants automatically meet the WIC income eligibility test if they receive food stamp benefits, TANF, or Medicaid. To find out if you are eligible, check online with this new pre-screening tool from the USDA.
Participants receive vouchers for nutritious foods. They also receive nutrition education, breastfeeding support from WIC agency staff and/peers, and information on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Monthly food vouchers for nutrient-rich foods such as milk, formula, eggs, peanut butter, fruits/vegetables, and tuna fish can be redeemed at certified stores and vendors. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides participants with additional vouchers to be redeemed at participating farmers markets during certain times of the year.
WIC is a discretionary program, and therefore the number of participants served is determined by the amount of funding allocated to the program.
How to Apply:
To locate the nearest WIC local office, call the Growing Up Healthy Hotline: 1-800-522-5006 or visit the NYS DOH website. Here is a list of qualifying documentation to bring to your WIC appointment.
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