2011 Special Supplemental Nutrition Program WIC

Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Family & Community 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.

Eligibility Criteria

Pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum (6 months) women, and children from birth through 5, who have a household income of 185% of poverty or less, and who have been assessed by a WIC health professional as having a medical and/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 participant 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 Data SFY09 SFY10 SFY11
Program Expenditures (Numbers in 000's) $304,500 $312,800 $298,492
Number of Grantees 100 100 100
Number Served 549,086 553,342 538,782

Program Accomplishments

  • Illinois WIC continues to implement and encourage "Participant Centered Services." Agencies are encouraged to evaluate their service delivery system and identify what is working for our participants and what changes could be made to make WIC, more customer friendly.
  • Several major steps were completed in the multi-year process toward transitioning WIC from paper food instruments to an Electronic benefits Transfer (EBT) system.
  • Illinois WIC completed a successful management evaluation with USDA.