How Does the WIC Program Helps Families?

By. Heather S.

WIC is a federally funded nutrition program. While many associate this program with pregnant women, it is also given to families with infants and young children. The WIC program is designed to allow families access to nutritional foods and drinks through their vouchers that they receive on a monthly basis. The vouchers often include juices, fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils and for infants, access to formula. Overall, the program is one that has been highly successful.

The Results of WIC for Families

For families who have been on the WIC program, studies have found that the entire family is healthier.

Here are just a few of the findings:

1. Children born to women on the WIC program are often healthier and have higher birth rates

2. Children reaching the school age have higher cognitive development

3. Everyone is healthier as they are more likely to get preventative medical care and have less serious issues from eating healthy

How to Receive WIC

In order to qualify for the WIC program, there must be certain requirements met. These requirements include:

  • Must be a woman who is pregnant, or who is postpartum
  • Women who are breastfeeding also qualify for one year after giving birth
  • Infant’s up to their first birthday
  • Children qualify up until their fifth birthday
  • Must reside in the state in which you are applying
  • Meet the income requirements that are set forth by the state

Once you believe that you meet these requirements, you will have to call your local WIC office to set up an appointment. At this appointment, you will have to provide several pieces of documentation to prove that you do qualify. This documentation includes pay stubs, W2 forms, proof of address, social security numbers, and the like. At this initial appointment, WIC offices will often look at the children who are included on this list and give a small physical to see if there is a nutritional need for WIC.

It is important to note that WIC is short term help. Meaning that a family has to get re-certified for benefits about every 6 months. And once the children or mother reaches the date in which they are no longer eligible, the aid stops.

This free federal aid is one of the ways in which families are able to stay as healthy as possible. It has been a great success, and continues to be one of the sources for nutritional aids that sees a high turnout each year in those who need this.