"This Institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider"
Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
For 25 years, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has been helping Illinois mothers, babies and children get the foods they need for proper growth and development.
Supplemental foods and nutritional education are available to Henry and Stark County residents who meet certain health and economic guidelines. Clients may receive food items such as milk, formula, eggs, cereal and juice and participate in nutrition education classes. Certified lactation counselors are available at both offices.
WIC may be able to help YOU if you...
are pregnant or breastfeeding
have an infant or children up to age 5
are working with limited income or have no income
want to improve your familyís health with good nutrition
WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. It is administered in Illinois by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Even if you or your family members are working, it can be hard making ends meet. The WIC Program may be able to help with the right food and advice on nutrition, health care and immunizations.
WIC enables parents to feed their children properly during critical periods of growth and development. The combination of nutrition education, nutritious foods and access to other health services strengthens families long after their WIC eligibility has ended.
Through the nutrition education offered by the WIC program, mothers learn about their own nutritional needs, as well as those of their infants and children. Participants are taught how to shop for nutritious foods and how to prepare well-balanced meals to improve the health of the entire family. Individual nutritional counseling is also provided.
Itís been said that "breastfeeding is a babyís first immunization" because it protects infants from certain diseases. Other benefits of breastfeeding include aiding the development of a babyís eyesight, speech and intelligence; reducing the likelihood of allergy; and promoting a special loving bond between mother and baby.
Through local WIC clinics, clients can obtain information about:
the benefits of breastfeeding
getting started breastfeeding and continuing for as long as they wish
solving breastfeeding problems
WIC encourages breastfeeding since humanmilk is the most appropriate source of nutrition for infants.However, WIC also provides iron-fortified infant formula, as well as infant cereal and juice.
WIC provides eligible participants with a variety of highly nutritious supplemental foods, including:
dry beans or peas
iron-fortified infant formula
breastfeeding mothers may also receive tuna fish and carrots
These foods are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron and folic acid.
Through the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), participants are provided with additional coupons that can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets. (FMNP is currently in a limited service area.)
WIC provides free health screenings to all participants to determine nutritional risk. A nutritional risk is any problem, medical or dietary, that is caused by or is associated with what you eat. Examples are poor growth in a child, poor eating habits and tooth decay.
WIC determines nutritional risk by measuring height and weight, doing a simple blood test and reviewing each participant’s medical history and dietary intake.
Referral to other services
WIC encourages and provides access to health care by providing participants with referrals to other community-based agencies and providers. WIC staff are trained to help participants find the care providers they need, including doctors, public health nurses and social service agencies.
WIC provides an ideal place to coordinate other health services because participants receive an assessment of nutritional and health status at each certification. The results of this assessment are used to develop the participant’s food package, provide nutrition education and breastfeeding support, and make appropriate referrals for other health services such as:
prenatal smoking-cessation programs
substance abuse programs
family case management
children with special health care needs
EPSDT or well-child visits
Recognizing the role of the WIC program as an adjunct and gateway to other health services, USDA has included additional requirements for coordination in the Federal Regulations. These WIC-coordinated health initiatives include:
nutritional and health screening
prenatal weight-gain education and monitoring
high-risk nutrition counseling
nutrition education that includes eating more fruits and vegetables (5-A-Day)
breastfeeding promotion and support
assessing the need for and encouraging prenatal smoking cessation
encouraging early entry into prenatal care
reducing iron-deficiency anemia in young children
Three factors must be met:
You must be
a pregnant woman
breastfeeding (up to one year after giving birth)
a new mother (up to six months after giving birth) or
a parent, guardian or caretaker who has an infant or child younger than 5 years of age.
Your annual household income must be withinWIC Guidelines.
You may have a job and still meet these guidelines.
Medical or Health Risk
A screening by a WIC Certifying Health Professional must find that you have a medical or nutritional health risk such as low iron, low weight gain during pregnancy or a diet that needs improvement.
What to bring with you to the clinic
For your first visit to a WIC clinic, please bring the following with you: