Updates from WIC

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children is a food and nutrition program funded by the USDA through the Michigan Department of Community Health. This program is commonly referred to as WIC. The WIC program is provided locally by the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department.

WIC services pregnant women, postpartum women who breastfeeding or non-lactating, as well as infants and children up to the age of five. The families who participate in WIC must meet income guidelines. Families will qualify for WIC if their income is at or below 185% Federal Poverty Income Guidelines or receive Medicaid or food stamps. For example, a family of four can have an income at or below $44,955. (Please see enclosed guidelines.) In addition to meeting income guidelines, clients must also have a nutrition and/or health risk. Examples of nutrition and health risks could be, but not limited, to not eating enough vegetables or high blood pressure.

The foods provided by WIC are chosen due to their nutritional content. The foods provided by WIC are to encourage our families to make healthier choices. Foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, cereals, dry beans, peanut butter, canned fish, milk products, soy beverage, and juices. The milk products have recently expanded to include a yogurt choice. Additionally, whole wheat pasta was also added to our whole grain choices.

Promoting breastfeeding continues to be a major focus of WIC. WIC would like all women to breastfeed for the child’s first year of life. However, WIC does acknowledge that not all women choose or are able to breastfeed. Thus, WIC continues to provide formula to women who do not breastfeed. At 6 months infants receive infant cereal and baby food.

WIC, not only provides healthy foods, but nutrition education to its clients. Common educational topics include prenatal nutrition, breastfeeding, food safety, dental health and child nutrition. Breastfeeding support is also provided to our breastfeeding families by a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor or a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. WIC also will refer our clients to other resources that may be helpful to them, such as Medicaid, food stamps, immunizations, local play groups or the Maternal Infant Health Program.

Nutrition education and healthy foods are not the only benefits of the WIC Program. Pregnant women who participate in WIC have been shown to have earlier prenatal care, better diets, and healthier pregnancy outcomes. WIC also has helped reduce the rate of low birth weight infants and infant mortality. Preschool children who are enrolled in WIC also have a lower rate of anemia. Additionally, WIC saves money for medical expenses. For every dollar spent by WIC, approximately $3.50 is saved in medical costs.

If you are interested in more information regarding the WIC Program, please contact your local health department office.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service as (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Compliant Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 202250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.