The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - or WIC - provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, and access to health care to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children under 5. The monthly WIC food package provides foods chosen to improve nutrition for pregnant women, new mothers, and their infants. Adequate and consistent nutrition is crucial to the health and development of very young children, whose brains and bodies are growing rapidly. WIC increases the number of women receiving prenatal care, reduces the incidence of low birth weight and infant mortality, reduces anemia, and enhances the nutritional quality of the diet of participants.
What's happening with WIC in D.C.?
WIC Implements New Rule to Help Connect Children to Program
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provided WIC state agencies with an important new option to help maximize WIC services and minimize paperwork. Under the new provision, agencies can now certify children (ages one to five years) to receive WIC benefits for a full year, rather than requiring them to complete income and eligibility paperwork every six months as currently required. As of March 2014 in DC all children (age one to five years) who are newly certified or recertified will now be certified for one full year.
WIC Families with Children Get More Fruits and Veggies
The USDA recently published a rule to increase the value of fruit and vegetable vouchers for children from $6 to $8 per month. This new rule will bring in approximately $170,000 into the district for families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for their young children starting June 2014. These vouchers, also known as cash value vouchers can be used at WIC certified grocery stores and authorized farmers markets across the district. Follow this link to a list of WIC approved grocery stores.
WIC Cash Value Checks can be used at Farmers Markets
Under state options for administering WIC, state agencies have the option to authorize farmers and farmers’ markets to accept WIC Cash Value Vouchers for fruits and vegetables. D.C. is one of 19 state agencies that have elected this option. 2010 marked the first year that WIC Cash Value Vouchers, part of the monthly WIC food package, could be accepted at D.C. Farmers Markets – in addition to WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks. Follow this link to more information about WIC and Farmers Markets.
WIC Enrollment Sites Across the City
There are currently over 20 WIC clinics that provide services to DC residents. These clinics are administered by four health care providers: Unity Health Care. Inc,; Children’s National Medical Center; Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care; and Howard University Hospital. Follow this link - WIC Sites in DC - to a list of clinic hours, phone numbers, and locations by Ward.
D.C. Hunger Solutions can help by:
- providing you with WIC outreach materials for you to share with your clients;
- giving presentations to your network on the benefits of and how to enroll in WIC;
- training your staff on how to conduct effective outreach and identify good WIC candidates.
Help us spread the word:
Distribute our flyers (pdf files) for families with small children.
- Stretching your Budget with SNAP and WIC
- WIC 2-5 Year Old Food Package
- WIC 2-5 Year Old Food Package (Spanish)
- What is WIC?
Learn more about the D.C. WIC program.
WIC prescreen tool.