What You Need To Know
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has been set up for women, infants and children. It helps low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or non-breastfeeding postpartum. Along with these, it also provides for infants and children below the age of five, who are at nutritional risk. This program has been administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). It consists of federal grants which provide supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education. It can be said that this program aims to improve the nutrition and food intake of these specific individuals.
The WIC aims to safeguard low-income women, infants, and children. It achieves this by providing the following services without any cost:
- Healthy foods
- Nutrition education and counseling
- Breastfeeding support
- Referrals for health care
- Community services
The foods involved in this program are designed to supplement a person’s diet. This is achieved through specific nutrients. Amongst the authorized foods of WIC, there is
- Infant cereal
- Baby foods
- Iron-fortified adult cereal
- Fruits and vegetables
- Vitamin C- rich fruit or vegetable juice
- Dairy products
- Soy-based beverages
- Canned beans and fish
- Other whole-grain options
The qualified individuals of this program are able to access their benefits through an EBT card. It helps them to purchase approved foods at authorized retailers. It is vital that the balance of the EBT Card is checked before any shopping takes place. There is a toll-free number as well as a website set up for such purposes. Some stores even have a Point of Sale machine available for balance checking.
The WIC program can help to make pregnancies safer by reducing any chances of premature births and infant mortality rates. Improved nutrition for these children can also contribute to long term benefits. According to statistics, WIC candidates have had an increase in healthcare cost savings.
Are You Eligible?
There are certain basic requirements for this program. These include that the applicant must be
- A resident of the state of Florida
- Pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding women
- Infant or child below the age of 5
- Labeled to be at nutritional risk by a medical professional. Two major types of risks come under this eligibility, namely, medically-based risks and dietary risks.
The household income is also considered once the above aspects are present. Therefore, the amount before tax deductions must either be less than or equal to the following figures:
|Size Of Household||Maximum Annual Income Level ($)|
If there are more than eight residents present in a house, then an additional amount of $8,177 is added. It is advised that the person remains in touch with the managing agency in the local area. This would help in ensuring that the most recent and accurate guidelines are followed.
Eligibility for the WIC program can also be checked through the help of an online tool. The WIC Prescreening Tool will help you to find out whether or not you should go through the application process. This tool is not an application but simply a check.
How To Apply
In order to apply for the benefits of WIC, a local agency must be approached. With a properly scheduled appointment, you can approach the application process in a simple and quick manner. They will require household income as well as the medical status of each applicant. These agencies are responsible for determining the eligibility of applicants. Once qualified, they are also responsible for the benefits and services provided as well as the authorization of vendors.
It has been stated in the USDA Non-Discrimination Statement that no discrimination should take place. This includes any bias-ness that can occur regarding race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal. People with disabilities are also provided with appropriate means of communication. This helps in making sure that their needs are catered to.
For Further Information
In case of further queries or confusion, Florida’s WIC Program page is available. It can be visited through the help of the internet. As WIC is a federal program, the information concerning it can be found on USDA’s Women, Infants, and Children program page. Similarly, if you wish to converse on the telephone, a list of toll-free numbers is available. You can find it on the USDA FNS website.
In case of any problems with the EBT Card provided for purchases, customer service is available at: