Recently my wife and I found out we are having twins! We are very excited but have, no more than ever, been thinking about ways that we can save money. We both work part-time and so we have to be very efficient with our finances. A friend of ours told us about an Oregon program called WIC which provides nutrition and free groceries to mothers who are expected or have newborns. The process was easy and we qualified! We went shopping yesterday and received $25 of groceries for free! Things like milk, cheese, beans, cereal, some fruits and vegetables and other essentials are available for those that qualify.
Food, nutrition counseling, and access to health services are provided to low-income women, infants, and children under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, popularly known as WIC.
WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children who are found to be at nutritional risk. State Contacts
Established as a pilot program in 1972 and made permanent in 1974, WIC is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Formerly known as the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, WIC’s name was changed under the Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994, in order to emphasize its role as a nutrition program.
Most State WIC programs provide vouchers that participants use at authorized food stores. A wide variety of State and local organizations cooperate in providing the food and health care benefits, and 46,000 merchants nationwide accept WIC vouchers.
The WIC target population are low-income, nutritionally at risk:
- Pregnant women (through pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after birth or after pregnancy ends).
- Breastfeeding women (up to infant’s 1st birthday)
- Nonbreastfeeding postpartum women (up to 6 months after the birth of an infant or after pregnancy ends)
- Infants (up to 1st birthday). WIC serves 45 percent of all infants born in the United States.
- Children up to their 5th birthday.
The following benefits are provided to WIC participants:
- Supplemental nutritious foods
- Nutrition education and counseling at WIC clinics
- Screening and referrals to other health, welfare and social services
You can check out the eligibility requirements at more here.