WIC / Community Nutrition Services
What is WIC?
WIC is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) designed to help you and your family build healthy eating and living habits that will last a lifetime. It helps to promote and maintain the health and well-being of nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children. WIC provides supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition and breastfeeding information, and referral to other health and nutrition services. WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding.
Who is Eligible for WIC?
To be eligible for WIC benefits, a person must meet the following requirements:
- be a pregnant, breastfeeding or new mother;
- be an infant up to age one; or be a child up to age 5;
- be a resident of Illinois;
- be income eligible;
- have a health or nutrition need.
WIC Income Guidelines
WIC income eligibility is based on 185% of US Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.
- The WIC Program uses the same gross income criteria as free and reduced-price school lunches.
- Many working families qualify.
- Individuals who participate in other programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, and TANF may automatically be income eligible.
WIC staff will determine income eligibility during your appointment.
What Happens At A Clinic Visit?
The following information is required to be reviewed at the appointment:
- Proof of ID – Drivers License
- Birth certificates or hospital footprints for infants and/or children
- Proof of income – two recent wage stubs, Public Aid Card, Income Tax
- Proof of address – rent receipt, utility bill, etc.
The above information is reviewed, along with the participant’s health history. A health screening is performed on each participant. From there, information is plotted on growth charts and evaluated individually to determine WIC eligibility. Participants are then counseled by a health professional. Eating habits are discussed and food histories are evaluated. At that time, each participant is informed of their eligibility and WIC Program responsibilities.
All participants receive:
- Screening for nutrition and health needs.
- Information on how to use WIC foods to improve health.
- Coupons to buy foods that help keep you and your children healthy and strong.
- Referrals to doctors, dentists, and programs like Food Stamps, Healthy Start and Head Start.
- WIC foods.
- Information on healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding support or infant formula.
- Immunization referrals.
- Parents/caregivers receive information on taking care of babies.
Clients receive encouragement and instruction in breastfeeding. In many cases, breastfeeding women are provided breast pumps free of charge. WIC helps clients learn why breastfeeding is the best start for their baby, how to breastfeed while still working, Dad’s role in supporting breastfeeding, tips for teens who breastfeed, how to pump and store breast milk, and much more.
Clients receive individual nutrition counseling and nutrition classes. Many clinics offer classes, especially for children. Men who have family members participating in the program are welcome to attend nutrition classes.
WIC provides coupons each month which are taken to grocery stores and used to buy nutritious foods. WIC foods include iron-fortified infant formula and infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C–rich fruit and vegetable juice, milk, eggs, cheese, beans, and peanut butter. Different food packages are issued to different clients. For example, mothers who are totally breastfeeding their babies without formula are issued tuna and carrots in addition to other foods.
- Eating healthfully during pregnancy for mom and baby
- Infant and child nutrition — healthy foods for happy children, picky eaters, watching your child’s weight, and lots more
- How to get the most out of their food dollars
- The importance of childhood immunizations
- Tips for pregnant teens
- Common infant problems, such as colic, constipation, and crying
638 N 20th Street
East St. Louis, IL 62205
Open Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
1274 Camp Jackson Road (Novo Plaza)
Cahokia, IL 62206
Open Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
East Side Health District- Fairmont City
2568 N 41st Street
Fairmont City, IL 62201
Open Wed – Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
For more information on Nutrition please visit:
Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program
Benefits to Baby
Illinois Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
Want to Learn More About Diabetes?
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