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The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children

The Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

New York State WIC provides breastfeeding support, nutrition counseling, health education, health care referrals, referrals to other services, and nutritious foods to approximately 425,000 women, infants and children up to the age of 5 each month through 91 local providers (hospitals, local health departments and community based organizations) at 400 service sites. 

 

How It Works

WIC provides monthly benefits for individually tailored food packages for specific types and brands of food that meet federal nutrition requirements. These food benefits can be redeemed at approximately 3,000 authorized retail food vendors across the state. Over the next several months, the NYS WIC Program will complete the statewide rollout of E-WIC, which will replace WIC checks with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards for WIC Clients. This program improvement will make shopping with WIC benefits easier. 

 

Eligibility

You may be eligible for WIC if you are:
• Pregnant.
• A mother of a baby up to 6 months old.
• A mother of a breastfeeding baby up to 12 months old.
•A child under the age of 5.

To get WIC, you and/or your child must:
• Meet age and other eligibility rules.
• Live in New York State.
• Have an income below a certain amount or get benefits from Medicaid, SNAP or TANF.

 

Investing in Our Communities

Food insecurity in infancy and early childhood can affect children’s brain development and have long-term health impacts. WIC participation is associated with healthier births, improved birth weights, reduced risk of infant mortality, better infant-feeding practices, more nutritious diets, better access to primary and preventive health care, healthier neighborhood food environments and improved cognitive development and academic achievement in childhood.

Like the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP), WIC improves the health of individuals and families through improved nutrition and by alleviating poverty. Evidence also suggests that these programs can boost the US economy, which means more jobs, less poverty, and better health for the broader population.

 

Funding

In New York State, WIC is funded and governed by the USDA and administered by the Department of Health. 

 

WIC Help NY

Hunger Solutions New York manages WIC Help NY, which offers free, confidential services to connect hungry New Yorkers to the WIC program. To find a WIC Help Specialist near you, visit www.WIChelpny.org

Get more details about WIC and read the Nondiscrimination Statement

SEE ALSO

Child Nutrition Programs

There are many federally funded programs that help young New Yorkers access the healthy food they need to grow, learn, and be active.
 

Adult Nutrition Programs

New Yorkers age 60 and older are particularly vulnerable to hunger. Federally funded nutrition assistance programs are designed to help.