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WIC - Women, Infant, and Children food assistance program.

The federal government funds the WIC program, which stands for Women, Infant, and Children. If you need help you will need to apply at agencies that are located in your state near you (listed below), as WIC is administered locally. This nutritional and food assistance program provides support to infants as well as new mothers or pregnant women. There may be some others that can qualify as well.

For those that qualify, free food and/or baby formula is offered to qualified individuals and families. In order to be eligible for aid, applicants must meet income guidelines that are established by the federal government. In addition, individuals applying need to be pregnant women, must be a new mother, and have infants or children under the age five years of age. Several million individuals across the nation currently receive food from the Women, Infant, and Children program. Many others may be eligible but either don’t know it or have never applied.

Assistance provided by WIC

The federal government provides states with funds to run the program. While each state may be able to slightly modify the terms and conditions of the assistance they provide, in general the WIC programs will be able to help families and individuals by providing them with financial assistance and debit cards for buying healthy supplemental foods and groceries from WIC-authorized vendors. The vendors will be determined at the state level but will tend to be almost every grocery store, retailer, or supermarket.

In addition, one of the main conditions of the program is that when applying participants are required to agree to receive nutrition education. The program can even help families and individuals with finding healthcare and other community services that can provide help during difficult times.

The exact listing and types of food provided will vary by state. However, in general the food items provided to participants for free by WIC are milk and some dairy products, juice (single strength), eggs, breakfast cereal, cheese, fresh produce including fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, natural fruit juice (not syrup), whole wheat bread, fish (canned), canned fruits, and legumes (canned and dry). Various other groceries and food can be offered as well, including infant formula. The previous list is just a sampling of what can be obtained from vendors and grocery stores.




One of the significant differences between the federal government funded WIC program and other food assistance programs and organizations that provide groceries is that participants will be required to receive nutrition education and counseling. They will receive this service along with the free food and grocery vouchers. The nutrition education that is provided to families will include topics such as appropriate infant feeding, healthy eating, shopping practices, and breast-feeding.

Apply for WIC

While the federal government does fund the program, as indicated it is run and administered at the local state level. So the exact application process and conditions to the program may vary a little by state or maybe even county. State government agencies are responsible for determining exact participants eligibility and the application process, and they are also responsible for providing benefits and services. In general, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program will help the following.

  • Women who are currently pregnant, who just had a baby or newborn, or who are currently breast feeding.
  • A family with at least one child who is under 5 years old. This can include foster or adopted children as well.
  • Families who are considered low to moderate income and who are at nutritional risk.
  • Working poor families.

If an individual has previously applied for and currently participates in other state or federal government benefit programs, or if the family member has other immediate family members who participate in the federal government Food Stamp Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Medicaid, they will automatically meet the eligibility requirements of the WIC program. But they still should call the state agency to formally apply for WIC, or ensure there are no hold ups in the process.

State organizations to apply to for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC)

  • Alabama 1-888-942-4673
  • Arizona  1-800-252-5942
  • Arkansas  1-800-235-0002
  • California  1-888-942-9675
  • Colorado  1-800-688-7777
  • Connecticut  1-800-741-2142
  • Delaware  1-800-222-2189
  • District of Columbia 1-800-345-1942
  • Florida  1-800-342-3556
  • Georgia  1-800-228-9173
  • Hawaii  1-888-820-6425
  • Idaho  1-800-926-2588
  • Illinois  1-800-323-4769
  • Indiana  1-800-522-0874
  • Iowa  1-800-532-1579
  • Kansas  1-800-332-6262
  • Kentucky 1-800-462-6122
  • Louisiana   1-800-251-2229
  • Maine  1-800-437-9300
  • Maryland  1-800-242-4942
  • Massachusetts  1-800-942-1007
  • Michigan  1-800-942-1636
  • Minnesota  1-800-657-3942
  • Mississippi  1-800-721-7222
  • Missouri  1-800-835-5465





  • Montana  1-800-433-4298
  • Nebraska  1-800-942-1171
  • Nevada  1-800-863-8942
  • New Hampshire 1-800-942-4321
  • New Jersey 1-800-328-3838
  • New Mexico  1-866-867-3124
  • New York 1-800-522-5006
  • North Carolina 1-800-367-2229
  • North Dakota 1-800-472-2286
  • Ohio 1-800-755-4769
  • Oklahoma  1-888-655-2942
  • Oregon  1-800-723-3638
  • Pennsylvania  1-800-942-9467
  • Rhode Island   1-800-942-7434
  • South Carolina   1-800-868-0404
  • South Dakota   1-800-738-2301
  • Tennessee  1-800-342-5942
  • Texas  1-800-942-3678
  • Vermont  1-800-464-4343 x7333
  • Virginia  1-888-942-3663
  • Washington  1-800-841-1410
  • Wisconsin  1-800-722-2295
  • Wyoming  1-800-994-4769


By Jon McNamara

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