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Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

WIC serves about half of all infants born in the United States.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves about half of all infants born in the United States.1 WIC benefits provide healthy foods and nutrition education to qualifying pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5. WIC also promotes breastfeeding, supports nursing mothers, and provides healthcare and social-service referrals.2

The WIC food package aligns with the latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines. In 2009, the WIC food package was updated to include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lower-fat milk.3 Following the changes, WIC participants are buying and eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.4 Research also shows that WIC improves nutrition among both infants and young children, including by supporting healthy iron intake and reduced consumption of fat and added sugars.5 Obesity rates among children ages 2 to 4 who participate in WIC declined from 15.9 percent in 2010 to 14.4 percent in 2018. The decline was statistically significant among racial and ethnic groups studied.6 

COVID Response
Emergency relief bills approved by Congress allocated nearly $1 billion to WIC to boost access, including via online purchases, to nutritious foods. The American Rescue Plan Act temporarily boosted the monthly fruit and vegetable benefit up to $35 per child and adult per month. The legislation allocates an additional $390 million to WIC through 2024.7

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Fast Facts

Women, Infants, and Children
31 states or U.S. territories reported obesity rate declines among 2-to-4 year olds participating in WIC between 2010 and 2018.
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Women, Infants, and Children
Maryland has the highest percentage of eligible people participating in WIC, 68.3%
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Women, Infants, and Children
In New Jersey, 134,936 people participate in WIC
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The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides federal funding to states to reimburse child care programs and other providers for serving nutritious food to children and adults in their care.

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