2009 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) $254.6 $261.4 $291.6 $304.5
Number of Grantees 100 100 100 100
Number Served 518,000 519,250 532,753 549,086

Program Effectiveness

  • Activities for SFY09 centered around planning and implementation of new WIC food packages. The changes to the packages were the biggest in 30 years.
  • A monthly newsletter "New-tritious & Delicious" was provided to local clinics.
  • A Food Package Advisory Committee made of state and local agency workers was created to provide input as policies were revised, and the new packages were developed based on USDA Regulations.
  • Several statewide conference calls were held to provide updates and time for local agency staff to ask questions.
  • Vendor training materials were created.
  • The 2009 State Breastfeeding Conference "Breastfeeding Success is Everyone's Business" was held April 8-9, 2009. Over 500 were in attendance to learn how to best support breastfeeding women and breastfeeding exclusivity. Training on the new breastfeeding food packages for both mom and baby was provided.
  • "Serving Immigrant and Limited English Proficient Communities" training was offered via satellite in April.