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Infants Women and Children

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a food assistance and nutrition program that provides supplemental food, nutrition education, and access to health care for pregnant women, women up to six months postpartum, women breast-feeding infants up to one year old, infants, and children under age five. Participants qualify based on nutritional risk and income at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. (The Food Stamp Program income cut-off is 130 percent of the federal poverty level.) Participants receive monthly coupons for food rich in protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C (such as milk, cheese, eggs, fruit juice, cereal, peanut butter, legumes, infant formula, and infant cereal). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the program; services are provided at the local level through health services, social services, and community agencies. The program's purpose is to provide nutrient-dense foods and nutrition education at critical periods of growth and development to prevent health problems and improve the health status of low-income women and children in the United States.



Boyle, Marie A., and Diane H. Morris. Community Nutrition in Action: An Entrepreneurial Approach. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing, 1994.

Story, Mary, Katrina Holt, and Denise Sofka. Bright Futures in Practice: Nutrition. Arlington, VA: National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, 2000.

Nicole B. Knee

Janice Dodds

Additional topics

Social Issues ReferenceChild Development Reference - Vol 8