2006 WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children) Fact Sheet

Bureau of Family Nutrition
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description:


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.

Delivery Method

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.

Program Data

WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) Program Data
Performance Indicators SFY03 SFY04 SFY05 SFY06
Grant Amount (Numbers in 000's) $230,334.70 $241,483.50 $252,024.10 $254,618.50
Number of Grantees 98 100 100 100
Number Served 264960 508250 516568 518000

Program Effectiveness

  • The rate of infant death to WIC and FCM program participants was 5.8 per 1,000 and for non-participants was 16.2 per 1,000 in 2001 (most recent data to date)
  • WIC has established a shared public health goal of 90 percent complete immunizations for participant children by age 2. In the last five years, this percentage has increased from 58 percent to 89.9 percent for 12-23 month olds and from 43 percent to 80.4 percent for 24-35 month olds. (2005 data)
  • WIC encourages breastfeeding: the breastfeeding initiation rate has increased from 35 % in 1997 to 63% (2005 data)