Alabama families may qualify for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC. If you are a woman who is pregnant, just had a baby within the past six months, breastfeeding or the parent or guardian of a child up to age 5, you are encouraged to apply for WIC at your local county health department.
Under the recently released 2013 federal poverty guidelines, more families may be eligible for the program. WIC is open to participants with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Check the table below to see whether your family qualifies:
Family size Annual Income Weekly Income
1 $21,257 $409
2 $28,694 $552
3 $36,131 $695
4 $43,568 $838
5 $51,005 $981
WIC participants must have both a limited income and a nutritional need. Families who receive Medicaid, SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, or Family Assistance, formerly known as TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) already meet the income qualifications for WIC. Even families who do not qualify for these three programs may be eligible for WIC.
For example, a single mother and her baby can have an income of up to $552 per week (before taxes are deducted) and qualify for WIC. A husband and wife with three children can have a total weekly income of as much as $981 (before taxes) and meet the income requirements to participate in WIC.
WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutrition education and supplemental foods during the early, formative years. Collective findings of studies, reviews and reports by government and nongovernment groups show that the WIC Program is cost effective in protecting and improving the health and nutritional status of women, infants and children.
Carolyn Battle, WIC director, Alabama Department of Public Health, said, “We especially want to reach women during their pregnancies because good prenatal nutrition is important in promoting healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes. Also, we know that WIC can help Alabama families develop healthy eating and activity habits that will last a lifetime.”
For more information contact your local county health department or call the statewide toll-free line at 1-888-942-4673.