New WIC income guidelines issued

Alabama families may qualify for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC. WIC serves women who are pregnant, just had a baby, or are breastfeeding; infants; and children under the age of 5 years.

Under the recently released 2009 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                              $20,036                                 $386 
         2                              $26,955                                 $519 
         3                              $33,874                                 $652 
         4                              $40,793                                 $785 
         5                              $47,712                                 $918 

WIC participants must have both a limited income and a nutritional need. Families who receive Medicaid, 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 because of its higher income limits.

For example, a single mother and her baby can have an income of up to $519 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 $918 (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.

Information courtest: ADPH