Frequently Asked Questions
What is WIC?
How is WIC funded?
WIC is funded by an appropriation from Congress to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA allocates monies to the various States and Territories(American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) Health Departments. Various local WIC agencies receive funds based on the number of WIC participants they serve.
WIC is also funded, in part, by private industry. WIC generates revenue through competitive bidding on some of the foods the WIC program provides.This is inclusive of a rebate. In California, 25% of all women on WIC are funded by private industry through this process.
How long has WIC been around?
Where is WIC available?
WIC is available in all 50 States and in the United States territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Click here for the locations of all the American Red Cross WIC Clinics in San Diego County.
What is the connection between the American Red Cross and the WIC Program?
What does WIC provide?
- Special checks, also called vouchers, for nutritious food
- Nutrition classes
- Individual nutrition counseling
- Breastfeeding support
- Community referrals
What types of foods may be purchased with the special checks/vouchers?
Who is eligible for WIC?
What about undocumented immigrants?
What groups does WIC serve?
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women up to one year postpartum
- Non-breastfeeding women up to six months postpartum
- Postpartum women with special circumstances (such as miscarriage or adoption) up to six months postpartum
- Infants and children under age 5
- Single fathers with eligible children
- All foster children under 5
What do you mean by nutritional need?
Who is income eligible?
WIC income eligibility is based on 185% of poverty level. The guidelines consider total household size and income. WIC helps all eligible families on public assistance, but also assists families with working parents. Many low to moderate income families are eligible and do not realize it. Click here for qualifications.
What is the WIC enrollment process?
The following requirements are necessary for WIC enrollment:
- Proof of address
- Identification (i.e. drivers license, state ID)
- Proof of income (i.e. pay stub)
- WIC referral form completed by health care provider and/or doctor
- The child, infant, or woman enrolling must be present
*If a client does not have a health care provider or other necessary documentation, WIC staff members will assist the participant in meeting these requirements.
What to do I do if I miss a WIC appointment?
What do I do if I can't obtain WIC requested blood work?
What about program integrity in the WIC Program?
How does WIC help women, infants and children?
Over 70 studies have proven the effectiveness of WIC.
- Participation in WIC reduces anemia levels in children. Anemia is a serious nutritional problem which makes it difficult for children to learn and pay attention.
- WIC families eat more nutritious foods.
- WIC children have better immunization rates.
- WIC participation reduces infant mortality.
- WIC improves pregnancy outcomes.
- Pregnant women who participate in WIC seek prenatal care earlier.
- A study was conducted comparing (a) WIC children and (b) children who did not participate in WIC. Group (a)’s mothers enrolled in WIC during pregnancy and their children continued on WIC until graduation from the program at age 5. Group (b)’s mother were eligible for WIC, but for one reason or another, did not participate. The study showed that the WIC children from group (a) had better visual-motor abilities, better vocabularies and better memories.
- For every $1 spent on WIC there is an average savings of $4.21 in Medicaid costs
How can I get more information about the WIC program?
If you have any additional questions about the American Red Cross WIC Program, San Diego : Please call 1-800-500-6411 or email us.