If you are pregnant and worry how you are going to make ends meet, you’re not alone. For many, it is overwhelming just to consider the thought of buying food for multiple people. Luckily, food assistance programs exist to help you. One of the most common food assistance programs is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or more popularly known as WIC. This guide will explain the basics of WIC eligibility and how you can apply.
What Is WIC?
WIC is a food and nutrition program for new mothers, pregnant women, and children. Once you enroll in this program your family will receive financial assistance to buy food. The program can also provide breastfeeding support, formula for non-breastfeeding families, nutritional counseling, and referrals to health and welfare services.
Several facilities likely house WIC services in your community. Common sites include community centers, schools, and local health departments. As you discuss family planning, your doctor can give you local information about WIC services.
Who Is Eligible?
Women who are postpartum, pregnant, or breastfeeding may be eligible for WIC services. They also serve infants and children up to their fifth birthday. Families who enroll will also have to meet income guidelines and be a resident in the state where they apply. Your doctor will need to confirm that you or your child has a “nutritional risk.” They will also give you specific eligibility information based on your state.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, families who are enrolled in programs like Medicaid may be automatically eligible. Your local WIC services will help you determine your family’s eligibility.
How Do You Apply?
You will need to make an appointment at your local WIC office. They may have you bring a proof of income and residency as well as proof of pregnancy if you are starting your family. By taking this step in the family planning process, you can ensure a healthier future for your child and family.
If you are interested in learning more about WIC and other assistance programs, the team at Pearson Foundation of Hawaii in Honolulu is here to help. This compassionate pregnancy center provides free and confidential post-pregnancy support, STD education, family planning services, and assistance for unplanned pregnancies no matter your situation. To make an appointment at their compassionate office, call (808) 942-0328. You can also view a full list of their comprehensive services by visiting their website.