The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, more commonly known as WIC, serves pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, and infants and children up to 5 years old in low-income families. WIC also serves women who have recently lost a pregnancy. The WIC program provides free supplemental foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and education, along with other support services.
The Planned Parenthood WIC Program is a nonprofit agency that has been providing WIC services to the Orange County community for over 19 years. Three WIC Centers and eight community satellite locations are located throughout Orange County to provide services to local families. WIC is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
WIC provides healthy foods to supplement the dietary needs of participants to ensure them with good health, growth, and development. The amounts and types of foods WIC provides were redesigned in 2009 to include fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods.
WIC supports breastfeeding as the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants. Breastfeeding helps mothers feel close to their babies and breast milk contains all the nutrients that infants need to grow and develop.
The History of WIC
Established by Congress in September of 1972 under Public Law 92-433, which added the WIC Program as section 17 to the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, WIC is a federally funded program.
In California, the WIC Program provides services in all 58 counties through 84 local WIC agencies. In Orange County, four local agencies serve eligible participants.
Through WIC, families receive a variety of comprehensive nutrition programs and services, including:
- Providing nutrition education classes to promote healthy eating and active living
- Promoting and encouraging breastfeeding
- Offering clients health and nutrition education from Registered Dietitians, Nutrition Education Counselors, and Certified Lactation Educators
- Providing nutritious supplemental food vouchers for WIC-approved foods, such as fruits, vegetables, milk and cereals
- Helping women find prenatal care, health insurance, family planning options, and general medical care for the mother and child