WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & 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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- The "Nutrition for Children with Special Health Care Needs" provided over 100 WIC staff with strategies for building rapport with parents of children with special healthcare needs, identified methods to ensure accurate anthropometric measurements and ways to increase awareness of Community Resources to increase collaboration in providing needed services.
- Implemented a new method of dietary assessment designed to improve client education and deliver quality and comprehensive WIC Nutrition services, including food package tailoring and health care referrals.
- The 2007 state breastfeeding conference "Peers, Partners & Pathways: Bridging the Gap to Breastfeeding Success," brought together over 500 staff and breastfeeding advocates to focus on community collaboration to help Illinois reach the Healthy People 2010 breastfeeding goals.