2008 WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children) Fact Sheet

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

Program Expenditure (Numbers in 000's) $252,024.1 $254,618.5 $261,349.3 $291,600.0
Number of Grantees 100 100 100 100
Number Served 516,568 518,000 519,250 532,753

Program Effectiveness

  • The "Transforming Nutrition Education: What's Love Got to Do with It?" workshop provided over 200 WIC staff with strategies for providing nutrition education to WIC families to assist them in making positive nutrition and physical activity changes.
  • A new WIC Risk Factor was implemented to address environmental tobacco smoke exposure of infants, children, and pregnant women.
  • In 2008 WIC began work to implement a screening and brief intervention project related to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention.