The WIC target population are low-income, nutritionally at risk:
- Pregnant women (through pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after birth or after pregnancy ends).
- Breastfeeding women (up to infant’s 1st birthday)
- Non-breastfeeding postpartum women (up to 6 months after the birth of an infant or after pregnancy ends)
- Infants (up to 1st birthday). WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.
- Children up to their 5th birthday.
The following benefits are provided to WIC participants:
- Supplemental nutritious foods
- Nutrition education and counseling at WIC clinics
- screening and referrals to other health, welfare and social services
WIC is not an entitlement program as Congress does not set aside funds to allow every eligible individual to participate in the program. WIC is a federal grant program for which Congress authorizes a specific amount of funds each year for the program. WIC is
- administered at the federal level by FNS
- administered by 89 WIC state agencies, through approximately 47,000 authorized retailers.
- WIC operates through 1,900 local agencies in 10,000 clinic sites, in 50 state health departments, 33 Indian Tribal Organizations, the District of Columbia, and five territories (Northern Mariana, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).
Examples of where WIC services are provided
- county health departments
- mobile clinics (vans)
- community centers
- public housing sites
- migrant health centers and camps
- Indian Health Service facilities