Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a supplemental healthy food program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for infants and children up to age five, and pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women.
The Catawba County WIC office serves a monthly case load of nearly 4,000 participants. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
To be eligible, you or your child must:
- Live in North Carolina
- Live in a household with an income at or below WIC guidelines. A person receiving Medicaid, Work First Families Assistance (TANF), or assistance from the NC Food and Nutrition Services (food stamps) automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.
- Be at nutritional risk based on abnormal height and/or weight measurements, have a documented nutrition-related medical condition or have inadequate dietary intake.
To demonstrate eligibility, families will need:
- A current Medicaid card, NC Food and Nutrition Services card (known as Food Stamp Card), Work First (TANF) documentation OR
- Pay check stubs for everyone in the home that works.
- Proof of your physical address where you reside. (If your physical address is different than your mailing address, please bring proof of both.)
- Identification for the person(s) applying for WIC (ie: Medicaid card, social security card, birth certificate, valid driver’s license, DMV issued photo ID).
Clients may be certified to receive services for the following periods of time:
- Pregnant Women: During the pregnancy and up to six weeks postpartum.
- Non-breast feeding postpartum women: Until six months postpartum.
- Breastfeeding postpartum women: 12 months after delivery or if breastfeeding is discontinued, between 6 and 12 months postpartum.
- Infants: Until one year of age (12 months).
- Children: Certified every year after first birthday until they are five years of age.
WIC strongly encourages women to breastfeed. Infants who are bottle fed can receive WIC contracted brands of iron fortified infant formula for the first year. At six months of age, infants can receive iron fortified infant cereal and baby food (fruits, vegetables, and meats). Special formulas may be issued for qualifying infants with a prescription.
Eligible participants receive food vouchers for milk, cheese, eggs, whole grain cereals high in iron, peanut butter, dried or canned beans or peas, whole grain bread, rice, or cereal, tofu, soy-based beverages, and fresh, frozen or canned fruit or vegetables. Exclusively breastfeeding women may also receive vouchers for canned tuna or salmon and receive additional food due to breastfeeding.
In addition to providing nutritional guidance and food packages, the WIC office has breastfeeding peer counselors to assist clients who have questions and concerns about breastfeeding. The staff provides encouragement and guidance for breastfeeding, which may include supplies such as manual and electric breast pumps for women who meet the criteria.
Nutritionists are available to answer client questions regarding eating habits to maintain health, gain or lose weight, comply with special diets (ex. diabetes); growth/weight status (over or underweight); anemia and dental care.
If you receive WIC vouchers:
- You will be instructed on how to use the WIC vouchers.
- You will be given information about the approved foods you may purchase with your vouchers from the grocery store.
- After you have received your vouchers, you will then be given your WIC folder with your next WIC appointment.
Catawba County will begin using eWIC in April 2018. Over the next few months, WIC participants will receive electronic benefit cards, which will be loaded with items that were previously printed on vouchers. The new cards will add additional convenience at the grocery store.