About Women Infants & Children (WIC)
WIC provides nutritional education and support, promoting good health for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, infants and children up to the age of 5.
Studies show that WIC plays an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs. A five-year WIC evaluation conducted for the Department of Agriculture, and studies by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Bureau of Economic
- Improved feeding practices - WIC actively promotes breastfeeding as the best method of infant feeding.
- Premature and fetal death rates reduced - WIC participation significantly increases the number of women seeking prenatal care. WIC is an effective entry point into the health care system.
- Low birth weight reduced - WIC participants have a reduced incidence of low weight and infant mortality. Low birth weight is a leading cause of disability and other impairments.
- Long-term medical expenses reduced - A U.S.D.A. study showed that each dollar invested in WIC’s prenatal component saved $3.50 in medical costs. Since fewer infants ate low-birth weight, fewer require expensive hospitalizations after birth.
- Improved dietary intake - WIC has been linked to major reductions in childhood anemia, which can impair the attention span of children and reduce their learning capacity.
- Improved cognitive development - Children who participate in WIC in early childhood have better vocabulary and digit memory scores than comparable children who did not participate in WIC.
Who is Eligible?
- Pregnant Women
- Breastfeeding women with children under one year of age
- Non-breastfeeding women with children under six months
- Infants and children under the age of 5
- If you have a job or if you have private health insurance, you can still apply for WIC!
What About Fathers, Step-Parents, Guardians, & Foster Parents?
FATHERS of children under the age of 5 are encouraged to enroll their children in the WIC program. Just like any PARENT or GUARDIAN, fathers can bring their children to appointments, attend nutrition education classes, and cash food vouchers for their children. Active participation by fathers is a great help in keeping WIC children healthy
Are Services Free?
YES! All WIC services are free to those who are eligible!
Focus on Improved Health
- Reduces complication of pregnancy
- Increase the number of breastfeeding mothers
- Reduce iron deficiency anemia
- Decrease the number of low birth weight & premature infants
- Improve growth & development of young children
- Improve eating habits of families
- Improve access to health care
- Live in Oregon
- Pregnant, post-partum or breastfeeding women, infants, or children under five years of age.
- Have a nutritional need. This may include:
- Low iron in the blood
- Too much or too little weight gain
- Poor diet
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes
- Past problems during pregnancy
- New pregnancy within 12 months of the last
- Poor growth in infants and children
- Developmental disabilities
- Infant feeding problems requiring special formulas
- Have a household gross income that is less than or equal to our liberal income guidelines. Please call the WIC office for updated income guidelines.
- You are automatically income eligible for WIC if you currently receive TANF, Food Stamps, or the Oregon Health Plan.
- The Oregon WIC Program provides service to ALL regardless of citizenship or alien status.
What Services Does WIC Provide?
- Nutrition Education - WIC provides nutrition education and counseling
to pregnant women, new mothers, and children. The main focus of the
nutrition education is prevention & improved health. Individuals learn
about their specific nutritional needs and the nutrients necessary
during pregnancy and lactation.
- New mothers receive information & guidance in feeding the infant and preschooler through the stages of development.
- Counseling is also targeted toward identified nutrition problems such as anemia, underweight, inappropriate weight in pregnancy and special feeding problems, etc. Every effort is made to provide culturally appropriate counseling.
- Breastfeeding promotion and support
- Monthly Food Vouchers - WIC participants receive monthly vouchers for specific food prescribed to meet their individual needs. Foods that are high in protein calcium, iron, and Vitamins A and C. Vouchers are redeemed at contracted local grocery stores.
- Access to Health Care & Other Social Services - The WIC program encourages earlier and more frequent utilization of other health care systems. It refers and coordinates with other services, such as immunizations, prenatal programs, drug and alcohol treatment, Medicaid, etc. to assist participants in knowing where and how to obtain health care.
Is your child up to date? Vitally necessary immunizations for children and adults against vaccine preventable diseases such as diphtheria, polio, whooping cough, measles and hepatitis are available at the Wasco-Sherman Public Health Department ANYTIME!
No one will be denied stated supported vaccine due to inability to pay.
Access To Health & Other Social Services
WIC refers to a variety of health and social services agencies and programs. Some examples are:
- Food Stamps
- Family Planning
- Migrant Health Services
- Medical and Dental Services
- School Lunch/ Breakfast Summer Lunch Program
- Food Pantries
- Parenting Classes
- Child Care Services
- Head Start Services
- Early Intervention Services
- Home Visitation Programs