Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. In California, the program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered by the California Department of Public Health WIC Division. The mission of the WIC Program is to provide our most vulnerable population the best possible start by providing nutrition education and healthy foods during critical stages of fetal and childhood development in order to achieve optimal nutritional status for children before they start school. Numerous studies have shown that pregnant women who participate in WIC have longer and healthier pregnancies, and fewer preterm births and low birth weight babies. Infants and children on WIC experience healthier growth and development.

WIC provides services locally to approximately 1.2 million participants each month in all California counties through 84 locally funded WIC agencies. Fifty nine percent of all infants born in California participate in WIC.

WIC provides services at no cost to eligible pregnant women, postpartum women, infants 0-12 months, and children up to age 5. This includes foster children and children living with a single father or other primary guardian. Families with income at or below 185 percent of the U.S. federal poverty level are eligible for WIC. Many working families can also qualify for WIC. Also, immigration status is not considered when applying for WIC.

WIC helps families stretch their food dollars. Services include providing checks to purchase healthy foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables) at any WIC-authorized grocery store. WIC’s trained staff provides personalized nutrition consultation with routine follow-ups. Staff works with families to address nutritional needs, meal planning, and feeding concerns. WIC also provides parenting information, breastfeeding education, and support through breastfeeding peer counselors and lactation consultants at many WIC sites. WIC helps pregnant women find a doctor and helps families find other important community services they might want or need.

Find a local WIC office at www.wicworks.ca.gov or call 1-888-WIC-Works (888-942-9675) toll free, 24 hours a day. During regular daytime office hours call 1-800- 852-5770 to speak to a representative to find out more information about WIC.