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California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Program Overview

The California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program that is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the state of California, the program is run by the Department of Public Health which is further managed by 84 local agencies in the state.

The WIC program is available for pregnant women, infants and kids up to five years of age and who are identified to be at nutritional risk by qualified doctors. These are individuals belonging to low-income households who are unable to take care of their diet which results in health problems in them. The aim of the program is to assist such individuals by providing healthy food that provides nutrition benefits to them.

Program Objectives

The main aim of the California WIC is to provide pregnant women, infants, and children up to five years of age and who are living on a fixed budget with an opportunity to improve their nutrition intake. The program helps the candidates by providing various foods and health services and teaches them a healthy lifestyle. This leads them to live a healthy and self- sustaining lifestyle subsequently increasing the quality of life of the people in the state.


The Process

The eligible individuals are linked with government agencies, nutritionists, and local community-based organizations. These organizations make sure the families are fully educated about the program so that they can approach the application process in a well-informed manner. This helps families to make adequate decisions to take full benefit from the largest hunger and health preventive program in the country.

The beneficiaries are provided with an electronic card (Electronic Benefits Transfer) similar to an ATM card which they can use in the various food stores approved by the government.

The amount of the benefit provided by the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) might vary depending on the need. Families with much lower income will receive a large amount to properly afford the food and healthcare necessities. The state provides its citizens with several benefit programs therefore; it is advisable to look up other specific programs that are offered in your region.

Eligibility Requirements


The applicant needs to meet the following requirements to be able to apply for the California WIC program,

  • The candidate has to be a permanent resident of the state of California to be eligible for the program
  • The candidate must have US citizenship or be a legal alien to receive the benefits of the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program.
  • The candidate must have a Social Security Number (SSN)
  • The candidate must have a job (if the age lies between the age of 21-59 and doesn’t have kind of disability)

The people who can receive the California WIC program’s benefits are,

  • Pregnant women
  • Families with infant or children from 1-5 years old
  • Women who are breastfeeding
  • Women in their postpartum period

Other factors that are taken into account while evaluating the eligibility of the candidate for the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) includes the number of members in the household and the total gross income of the household.

The amount of the maximum gross income level before taxes should be equal or less than,

Size Of Household Maximum Annual Income Level ($)
1 23107
2 31284
3 39461
4 47638
5 55815
6 63992
7 72169
8 80346

In case, the household size is greater than 8 members, an additional amount of $8177 is considered per member. The amount of annual income level might change from time to time depending on the changes in laws and regulations. Therefore, you should keep in touch with your local managing agencies to get recent information regarding the California WIC program.

You are automatically eligible to for the California WIC program if you qualify for any of the below-mentioned state programs

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid Program
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

How To Apply

There are multiple ways to apply for the California WIC program. It is important to check your eligibility for the program before applying. The different methods you can use to apply for the program are,

  • Apply through the local office

To apply for the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children it is important to visit a WIC agency in your area. You can then schedule an appointment. The WIC representative in the office will ask you to bring the appointment letter and other important documentation at the time of visiting the office. This makes the application process easily and quick. You can go to the California WIC to find an office in your locality.

  • Apply Via Phone

You can also contact the California State WIC Office at (916) 558-1784. By calling at the given number you can request an application form for the California WIC program. The application will be either emailed or mailed to you. You can also visit the U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) if you wish to contact the WIC office at toll-free numbers.

For Further Information

Information about the California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is available on the USDA’s Women, Infants, and Children program pages in case of queries or any extra data required about the program. The website provides information regarding the program policies and guidelines to applicants to help them get a better understating of the program. This makes the application process very flexible for the applicants who can use any of the above-mentioned methods to apply for the WIC program.