WIC is a supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which is federally funded. WIC has existed for over 40 years and proved to be a cost-effective public health program. The program aims to help needy families develop healthy lifestyles. WIC is nationally recognized as an effective program for improving access to nutritious foods and for the promotion of healthy eating habits and lifestyles.
This program is available to income-eligible and nutritionally at risk populations such as; pregnant women, breastfeeding women, postpartum women, infants up to age 1, and children up to age 5. The services provided by WIC include; nutrition assessment and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, screening and referrals to other Indiana health, family and social services as well as specific nutritious foods to supplement diets. WIC provides for a variety of foods rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, folic acid, and Vitamins A, C, D and fiber.
These nutrients are offered to WIC clients because they have been found to be lacking in their diets. Infants and children who receive WIC services are less likely to be underweight at birth, sick less often and are more likely to be intellectually ready to start school than those at risk children that don’t obtain these services. To be eligible for Indiana WIC benefits, an applicant must be an Indiana resident and be in one of the high risk populations. To be income eligible the family or individual must fall at or below 185% of the US Poverty Income Guidelines. Families already receiving Medicaid, Food Stamps, or TANF are income eligible for the WIC program. Applicants must be at nutritional risk defined as follows; medically-based risks such as anemia, underweight, overweight, have a history of pregnancy complications or poor pregnancy outcomes as well as dietary risks such as failure to meet dietary guidelines or inappropriate nutrition practices.
WIC’s peer counseling program conducts regular support group meetings for moms that choose to breastfeed. A peer counselor is also available to women who want a physical meeting at their local WIC clinic. Often the peer counselors are WIC clients who have had successful breastfeeding experiences. The program encourages dads to participate as well. Dads are often the support system at home.
The local WIC program has 1 peer counselor trained to answer breastfeeding questions by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. "I was able to meet my breastfeeding goals with the support and knowledge I received from WIC. I would love to pass that on to any mom that needs it. Not only is breastfeeding a special bond between mom and baby, it also has lifelong health benefits for both of them as well," said Taylor Jackson, peer counselor for the WIC program administered through Community Action Program.
To find a WIC location nearest you, visit the website at www.capwi.org
The local WIC program is administered by Community Action Program, Inc. of Western Indiana in the following counties; Benton, Fountain, Montgomery, Vermillion, and Warren. All services are provided without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, or status as a veteran.