WIC Participants and Their Growing Need for Coverage

Brief

WIC Participants and Their Growing Need for Coverage

April 25, 2012

Abstract

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides low-income pregnant women, postpartum mothers, infants, and children up to age 5 with select foods, nutrition education, and health care and government service referrals. WIC aims to improve the health of participants and prevent later health problems. This brief summarizes key features of the WIC program, including eligibility rules, participation, benefits, and administration. It presents the 2009 estimates of WIC eligibility and coverage for the nation and the states. Also summarized are recent improvements in WIC administrative practices and nutrition outcomes.

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