New Jersey Public Health Plan for Children, Infants, Pregnant Women, Women - Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)


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Program Details

What is Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)?

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (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 up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Who is it for?

Children, Infants, Pregnant Women, Women

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for the WIC Program, applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

What is Covered?

  • WIC Food Packages
  • Breastfeeding Promotion and Support
  • Revitalizing Quality Nutrition Services (RQNS) in the WIC Program
  • WIC Works Resource System
  • Nutrition Services Standards
  • VENA (Value Enhances Nutrition Assessment)
  • Immunization Screening and Referral
  • WIC Special Project Grants

How much is it?


How to Apply?

The Food and Nutrition Service administers the WIC Program at the Federal level; State agencies are responsible for determining participant eligibility and providing benefits and services, and for authorizing vendors.
To apply to be a WIC participant, you will need to contact your State or local agency to set up an appointment. Check out your State's websiteor call the toll-free number. When you call to set up an appointment, someone will tell you the location nearest your home and what you need to bring with you.
To apply to be a WIC vendor, you will need to contact yourState agency.
Fact sheet about WIC Retail Stores.

What if I move?

If you plan to move somewhere else in Indiana, you can check our website for a listing of all WIC offices in the state at If you plan to move out of Indiana, you can call your local WIC office. They can give you information about WIC programs in other states and overseas. You may also call the State WIC Office at 1-800-522-0874.

What is a proxy?

A proxy is someone you trust. You give this person permission to cash your WIC checks if you can't go to the store. If you assign someone to be a proxy, that person must sign your WIC Participant Booklet and must bring the booklet when cashing WIC checks at the store. You must make sure your proxy understands what foods to buy and how to use the WIC checks.
A proxy may also take your place at nutrition education or check issuance appointments. A proxy is not allowed to replace participants at certification appointments. The proxy must bring the WIC Participant Booklet to the appointment along with a valid form of ID.

Why can't WIC staff talk to my friend or my mother about my child or me?

The WIC program protects your right to privacy. WIC will not share any information without your permission. This includes appointment times and medical information.

What if I lose my WIC checks or they are stolen?

If you believe your WIC checks have been stolen, report it to your local police right away. Lost or stolen WIC checks should also be reported to your local WIC office immediately. WIC may replace certain checks in rare circumstances and with required documentation.

What if I damage my WIC checks?

If you spill something on your checks or rip them, return the checks to your local WIC office. WIC may replace them.

WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines

What is "nutritional risk"?

Two major types of nutritional risk are recognized for WIC eligibility:

  • Medically-based risks (designated as "high priority") such as anemia, underweight, maternal age, history of pregnancy complications, or poor pregnancy outcomes.
  • Diet-based risks such as inadequate dietary pattern.
Nutritional risk is determined by a health professional such as a physician, nutritionist, or nurse, and is based on Federal guidelines. This health screening is free to program applicants.
Beginning April 1, 1999, State agencies use WIC nutrition risk criteria from a list established for use in the WIC Program. WIC nutrition risk criteria were developed by FNS in conjunction with State and local WIC agency experts. WIC State agencies are not required to use all of the nutritional risk criteria on the new list. FNS will update the list of criteria, as necessary, when new scientific evidence shows, after review by FNS and other health and nutrition experts, that the condition can be improved by providing WIC program benefits and services.

What food benefits do WIC participants receive?

In most WIC State agencies, WIC participants receive checks or vouchers to purchase specific foods each month that are designed to supplement their diets with specific nutrients that benefit WIC's target population. In addition, some States issue an electronic benefit card to participants instead of paper checks or vouchers. The use of electronic cards is growing and all WIC State agencies are required to implement WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) statewide by October 1, 2020. A few State agencies distribute the WIC foods through warehouses or deliver the foods to participants' homes. Different food packages are provided for different categories of participants.
WIC foods include infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish. Soy-based beverages, tofu, fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole-wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants.
WIC recognizes and promotes breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for infants. For women who do not fully breastfeed, WIC provides iron-fortified infant formula. Special infant formulas and medical foods may be provided when prescribed by a physician for a specified medical condition.
Details about the WIC food packages

Who gets first priority for participation?

If WIC cannot serve all the eligible people who apply for benefits, so a system of priorities has been established for filling program openings. Once a local WIC agency has reached its maximum caseload, vacancies are generally filled in the order of the following priority levels:

  • Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants determined to be at nutritional risk because of serious medical problems.
  • Infants up to 6 months of age whose mothers participated in WIC or could have participated and had serious medical problems.
  • Children (up to age 5) at nutritional risk because of serious medical problems.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women and infants at nutritional risk because of dietary problems (like poor diet).
  • Children (up to age 5) at nutritional risk because of dietary problems.
  • Non-breastfeeding, postpartum women with any nutritional risk.
  • Individuals at nutritional risk only because they are homeless or migrants, and current participants who without WIC foods could continue to have medical and/or dietary problems.

What is the WIC infant formula rebate system?

Mothers participating in WIC are encouraged to breastfeed their infants if possible, but WIC State agencies provide infant formula for mothers who choose to use this feeding method. WIC State agencies are required by law to have competitively bid infant formula rebate contracts with infant formula manufacturers. This means WIC State agencies agree to provide one brand of infant formula and in return the manufacturer gives the State agency a rebate for each can of infant formula purchased by WIC participants. The brand of infant formula provided by WIC varies by State agency depending on which company has the rebate contract in a particular State.
By negotiating rebates with formula manufacturers, States are able to serve more people. For FY 2014, rebate savings were $1.8 billion, supporting an average of 1.9 million participants each month, or 22.5 percent of the estimated average monthly caseload.

What is the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program?

The WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), established in 1992, provides additional coupons to WIC participants that they can use to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers' markets. FMNP is funded through a Congressionally mandated set-aside in the WIC appropriation. The program has two goals: To provide fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables, from farmers' markets to WIC participants who are at nutritional risk; and to expand consumers' awareness and use of farmers' markets.
By November 15 of each year, each applying or participating State agency must submit to the FNS Regional Office for approval a State plan for the following year as a prerequisite to receiving funds. FMNP State Plan guidance may also be obtained at the FNS Regional Office.
An administering FMNP State agency may be the agriculture department, the health department, or any other agency approved by the chief executive officer of the State or Indian Tribal organization.

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  • Phone Number
    (732) 367-7171
  • Office Locations
    LAKEWOOD, NJ 08701

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