The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is a division of the Michigan Department of Community Health. Their mission is to “improve health outcomes and quality of life for eligible infants and children by providing nutritious food, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to other health services.”.
Pregnant and postpartum women and children under five that participate in WICK receive monthly food benefits for foods like milk, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, dry beans, and fruit or vegetable juices. Women that exclusively breastfeed also receive
extra benefits for food like canned tuna fish.
Infants with specific medical diagnoses may also receive a special formula.
For babies that are not fully breastfed, WIC supplies iron-fortified infant formula for up to a year at a reduced price.
WIC also offers nutrition education on topics such as infant and toddler feeding, breastfeeding, prenatal weight gain, anemia or iron deficiency, and child development.
Individualized nutrition counseling from Registered Dietitians is available for high risk participants, such as those who may suffer from an iron deficiency.
Health care providers may refer their patients to the WIC program, and the WIC program may refer participants to health care providers for health and social services, immunizations, substance abuse counseling, smoking cessation, lead screening, the Healthy Kids/MI Child program and more.
WIC heavily encourages breastfeeding. All agencies have trained personnel to help mothers with breastfeeding, as well as peer counselor support programs.
To be eligible for WIC, one must be a pregnant women, a breastfeeding women up to one year form delivery, a postpartum women up to six months from delivery, an infant, or a child under five. One also must be a resident of Mich., on Medicaid or food stamps, and be determined by WIC clinic staff to be at nutrition or health risk.
Fraud is an occasional concern with WIC. Stores can overcharge for WIC food, as well as redeem WIC coupons for non-WIC food.
WIC services are delivered to the public from places such as non-profit organizations and health departments.