Chapter 6, WIC (Women, Infants and Children)

Purpose and Eligibility

Mother and toddler playingThe purpose of the Arkansas WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) is to improve the nutrition of eligible pregnant, breast-feeding and postpartum women, infants and young children to age 5 during periods of critical growth by directly supplementing their diets with foods rich in nutrients they need, providing nutrition education and counseling, breast-feeding support and referrals to other services.

The program provides checks for specific foods that participants redeem at local authorized grocery stores. Women and children participants are also provided Cash Value Benefits (CVBs) that are redeemed for fresh and/or frozen fruits and vegetables.

Pregnant, breast-feeding and postpartum women, infants and children under age 5 are eligible for WIC if they:

  • LIVE IN ARKANSAS. There is no waiting period to meet the residency requirement.
  • MEET INCOME GUIDELINES. These guidelines are set at 185 percent of poverty and are revised annually. The revised income guidelines must be implemented by July 1 each year. The guidelines are used by a number of Federal programs as the basis for determining and updating program income eligibility limits. For the WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines effective for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, you may check the website for the current guidelines:
    Applicants must report household income. Recipients of Medicaid, TEA or SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) are automatically income eligible for WIC. Documentation of current eligibility for one of these programs is sufficient proof of income eligibility.
  • ARE NUTRITIONALLY ELIGIBLE. Conditions such as anemia; certain medical disorders; weight (underweight, overweight, pattern of gain or loss; weight in relation to height; etc.); number and frequency of pregnancies and inadequate diet are some of the factors considered in a nutritional assessment. This assessment is performed by a nurse, nutritionist or physician in the Local (County) Health Unit.

WIC is available in every Arkansas county at local (county) health units, satellite clinics or WIC-only clinics

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