The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, commonly known as the WIC program, serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children younger than 5 who are at nutritional risk. As the third largest food and nutrition assistance program, WIC served nearly 9 million participants per month in fiscal 2011, including almost half of all infants born in the United States. Federal program costs for WIC were $7.2 billion in fiscal 2011.
The program benefits for children participating in WIC are threefold. First, participants receive vouchers for supplementary food. The package includes milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, 100 percent fruit juice, and dried beans or peanut butter.Second, nutritional education is provided to the child’s caregiver, and in some cases directly to the child. Finally, access to health care is facilitated. Source: Profile of WIC Children.