WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children)
Bureau of Family Nutrition
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
Income-eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, as well as children up to 5 years of age, who have a medical or nutritional risk
To improve the health and nutritional status of women, infants and children; to reduce the incidence of infant mortality, premature births and low birth weight; to aid in the development of children; and, to make referrals to other health care and social service providers
The WIC program serves approximately 40 percent of Illinois live births. The program provides health screening, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, supplemental foods and referrals to other health services.
A client applies at the most convenient of approximately 220 clinic sites run by local health departments, not-for-profit health and social service agencies and federally qualified health centers. Health screening, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support and coupons for supplemental foods are delivered on-site. Participants receive food prescriptions based on their nutritional needs. WIC foods include nutritionally appropriate foods and infant formula. Food products are obtained at grocery stores statewide or at WIC Food Centers in some areas of Chicago.
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- In SFY10 the new WIC food packages were implemented. These changes represented the biggest change in WIC in 30 years and the supplemental foods provided now mirror nutrition education messages.
- Illinois WIC began working on "Participant Centered Systems" (PCS). This initiative involved assessments of the state and local agency service delivery system to assess what is working for our participants and what changes might be made to make WIC more customer friendly
- Work began to assess when and how Illinois WIC can move to an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system in place of paper food instruments.
- A successful application was submitted to USDA for Special Project funding to evaluate how to better retain child participants on the WIC program.