Administered by: Bureau of Family Nutrition


WIC - Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a federal health, nutrition, and prevention program with a successful record of improving the diet and safeguarding the health of infants and children under age five and pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women who are at risk for nutrition-related illness. WIC is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These benefits are available in all 102 Illinois counties at more than 220 clinics, which include county health departments, community action agencies, and hospitals.

In Illinois, approximately 40 percent of all babies born are on the WIC program. Studies show the tremendous impact the WIC program has had on improving the health status of at-risk, low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants and young children. WIC is the entry point or "gateway" program for this population into the health care system. Recent studies have shown that WIC reduces fetal deaths, infant mortality, low birth weight rates, and iron deficiency anemia in children and increases immunization rates.

WIC provides nutrition education, counseling and support, breastfeeding support, nutritious foods, health screenings, and referral to other services. WIC enables parents to feed their children properly during critical periods of growth and development. The combination of nutrition education, nutritious foods, and access to other health services strengthens families long after their WIC eligibility has ended.

CIVIL RIGHTS: I understand that the WIC Program is an equal opportunity program open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability. If I believe I have been discriminated against I may write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY)."


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