What is the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program?
What is Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)?
WIC is the USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and provides nutrition and breastfeeding services and supplemental foods to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children up to their fifth birthday. WIC provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support services, supplemental nutritious food, and referrals to health and social services. Nutrition risk is determined by a health professional and includes applicants who are at risk of anemia, being underweight, smoking, maternal age, history of pregnancy complications, poor pregnancy outcomes, and diet-based risks such as not consuming recommended protein or iron in their diet.
How is WIC Funded?
WIC is a public health nutrition program under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is a program funded annually through the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Committee. On Dec. 3, 2021, President Biden signed the Further Extending Government Funding Act of 2022 into law, which extends a temporary increase in the WIC Cash Value Benefit for fruits and vegetables until March 31, 2022. This increase gives WIC participants an increase of:
- $24 for child
- $43 for pregnant and postpartum women
- $47 for fully and partially breastfeeding women
What are WIC Health Outcomes?
According to the National WIC Association, WIC is effective and helps:
- Reduce premature births
- Reduce low and very low birth-weight in babies
- Reduce fetal and infant deaths
- Reduce the incidence of low-iron anemia
- Increase access to prenatal care earlier in pregnancy
- Increase pregnant women’s consumption of key nutrients such as iron, protein, calcium, and Vitamins A and C
- Increase immunization rates
- Improve diet quality
- Increase access to regular health care
WIC at Community Health Alliance
Community Health Alliance is the second largest Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provider in northern Nevada. Not only does WIC provide nutrition education, breastfeeding support services, supplemental nutritious foods, and referrals to health services, it also offers one-on-one support, monthly support groups, developmental milestone checklists, and referrals to an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who provides expert breastfeeding and lactation care.
Learn more about WIC by watching this video from the National WIC Association:
Need help? If you have difficulty understanding English or have a disability, free language assistance or other aids and services are available upon request. Please contact your local WIC Clinic.
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