Special to Atmore News
Alabama families may qualify for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC. If you are a woman who is pregnant, who had a baby within the past six months, who is breastfeeding or who is the parent or guardian of a child up to age 5, you are encouraged to apply for WIC at your local county health department or WIC agency.
Participants in the program receive free nutrition education and breastfeeding peer counseling support. In addition, participants have the option to receive up to three months of food benefits at a time for each qualified family member. Alabama’s WIC program now provides electronic food benefits statewide, with options to apply remotely during COVID-19.
Under the 2020 federal poverty guidelines, more families may be eligible for the program. WIC is open to participants with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. If you or another member of your family has lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may also be eligible for nutritional and breastfeeding support from WIC.
Following are guidelines on qualifying for WIC according to family size (each unborn infant counts as one in the family size), annual income and weekly income:
- 2 in family; annual income $31,894; weekly income $614
- 3 in family; annual income $40,182; weekly income $773
- 4 in family; annual income $48,470; weekly income $933
- 5 in family; annual income $56,758; weekly income $1,092
- 6 in family; annual income $65,046; weekly income $1,251
WIC participants must have both a limited income and a nutritional need. Families who receive Medicaid, SNAP or TANF already meet the income qualifications for WIC. Even families who do not qualify for these programs may be eligible for WIC because of its higher income limits.
Allison Hatchett, WIC Director, Alabama Department of Public Health, said, “WIC encourages families to be healthy by providing nutritious foods that support growth and development. Nutritious foods help children grow to be healthy adults and pregnant women to have healthy babies.”
For more information please go to http://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/wic or call the statewide toll-free line at 1-888-942-4673.