Idaho WIC (short for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is a federally funded nutrition program for women, infants, and children. The program promotes healthy choices for pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children up to their fifth birthdays.
The names of the programs may sound similar, but the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps, is a different program. You can be eligible and get benefits from both. If you have SNAP or Medicaid, then you may also be able to get WIC.
What does WIC do?
WIC helps families by providing:
- WIC funds to buy healthy foods from local grocery stores
- Nutrition education
- Help finding healthcare and other community services
- Breastfeeding information and support
What breastfeeding services does WIC offer?
Idaho WIC provides services to help Idaho remain one of the top breastfeeding states in the nation:
- Peer counseling: Counselors help cheer on and support pregnant women before and after they’ve had their babies as they decide how to feed their babies. Counselors have experience breastfeeding their own children and understand the challenges and joys that come with breastfeeding.
- Professional breastfeeding support: WIC provides free clinic and phone discussions with trained breastfeeding professionals, including international board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLC’s), certified lactation counselors/educators, and registered dietitians.
- Supplemental foods for breastfeeding women: Breastfeeding women receive the deluxe WIC food package with more food and variety.
- Breastfeeding equipment: WIC may supply breast pumps and other equipment or supplies to help women provide breast milk for their babies.
Contact your local WIC clinic to learn more about breastfeeding services.
Who is eligible for WIC?
To be eligible for WIC, you must meet certain requirements:
- Be a resident of Idaho
- Meet income guidelines
- Be pregnant, breastfeeding, had a baby in the last six months, or be parents, guardians, or foster parents of infants and children up to their fifth birthdays
Leah Sallas is the Idaho WIC program director. She has worked for the department since 2015.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
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