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What is WIC?

WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children. It is a supplemental food program that provides nutrition information and free foods to help mothers, babies and children get the nutrients they need for proper growth and development.

*WIC is NOT welfare.

*WIC will NOT cut down on your food stamps or keep your child out of Head Start.

*Even if you are working, you may be on WIC.

*WIC does NOT replace going to the doctor or clinic. Regular visits with your doctor or other health care provider are vital to you and your family's good health.

Am I Eligible for WIC?


If you:
*are a pregnant woman;
*are breastfeeding (up to one year after giving birth);
*are a new mother (up to six months after giving birth); or
*are a parent, guardian or caretaker of an infant or a child younger that 5 years of age.

If your income:
*is within WIC guidelines (you may have a job and still meet these guidelines).

If you are:
*screened by a WIC clinic and found to have a medical or diet health risk.

What WIC Offers

WIC gives you FREE, healthy foods such as milk, eggs, cheese, juice, cereal, peanut butter, dry beans or peas and iron-fortified infant formula.

The WIC Program provides foods that contain nutrients you and your child need to stay healthy.

The nutrients they supply are:


Vitamin A -- for growth and good vision -- to protect you from infection

B Vitamins -- for energy

Vitamin C -- to help protect you from infection

Vitamin D -- to help your body use calcium

Calcium -- for stronger bones and teeth -- to keep your nervous system healthy

Protein -- for growth and maintaining body tissues

Iron -- for strengthening you blood -- to keep you from feeling tired.

WIC gives you a FREE health screening, including:
*height and weight measurements
*blood iron test (hemoglobin)
*health history and diet assessment.

WIC gives you FREE information on:
*physicians and other health care providers
*food stamps
*shelter and fuel assistance
*Head Start Program
*mental health programs
*drug and alchol abuse programs
*smoking cessation programs
*and others.

WIC gives you FREE nutritional/diet counseling, including information on:
*recipes and meal planning tips
*feeding tips for infants and toddlers
*smart shopping tips

Breastfeeing is Best

If you are a new mom, your WIC agency will encourage you to breastfeed. Breastmilk protects your baby against many allergies and illnesses. Breastfeeding saves time and money. But if you want a supplement or choose not to breastfeed, infant formula is available to you.

As your baby gets older, WIC provides infant cereal and fruit juice to support your baby's rapid growth and development.


For women who must return to work or school, or be separated from their infant, WIC provides electric breastpumps. If an electric breastpump is not available at the WIC office, WIC has community resources to which the breastfeeding mother may be referred.

Breastfeeding mothers can remain on the WIC program for one year after the birth of their infant. They also receive a larger food package when they are breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to call the WIC office anytime with questions regarding breastfeeding.

For July 2001 - June 2002 income guidelines click here.

For more information on WIC, click the "WIC Works Resource System" picture below.


For more information on Breasfeeding check out our links page, or click here to go to

To find out about the local WIC agency nearest you, call:


or Jefferson County Health Department at (618) 244-7134.

Information for this specific page was adapted from "WIC Works For You" brochure produced throgh Illinois Department of Public Health.

The WIC Program is an equal opportunity program open to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, age or handicap. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against should write the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington D.C. 20250. Complaints regarding discrimination based on sex or handicap should be mailed to the Equal Opportunity Officer, Illinois Department of Public Health, 535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, Il 62761.