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Frequently Asked Questions

California WIC - Women, Infants & Children

Absolutely! Studies conducted by non-government entities prove that WIC is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective nutrition intervention programs. Since its beginning in 1974, the WIC Program has earned the reputation of being one of the most successful Federally-funded nutrition programs in the United States.Here are the facts:

WIC Participation Improves birth outcomes

  • Approximately one out of four women in the United States receives WIC services and numerous studies have shown that pregnant women who participate in WIC receive early prenatal care.
  • WIC prenatal care benefits reduce the rate of low birth weight babies by approximately 34%.
  • Every WIC dollar spent on pregnant women produces $1.92 to $4.21 in Medicaid savings for newborns and their mothers.
  • Medicaid costs benefits reduce between $12,000 and $15,000 for every prevented very low birth weight infant birth.

WIC Participation Improves the Health of Infants and Children

Fifty-three percent of all infants born in the United States receive WIC services. WIC helps ensure normal growth, reduces levels of anemia, increases immunization rates, improves access to regular health/social services and improves nutrition. Research has demonstrated that:

  • WIC infants are in better health than eligible infants not participating in WIC.
  • WIC benefits positively influence the nutrient intakes of infants and children.
  • WIC participation is associated with increased use of preventive care and improved health status of children.

WIC Program is cost effective in protecting or improving the health/nutritional status of low-income women, infants and children. An earlier study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that each dollar spent on WIC's prenatal component saves three dollars in hospital costs.

WIC Supports the Community. WIC Brings Healthy Foods to Your Families.

  • In California, WIC foods purchased at grocery stores bring communities approximately $62 each month for each WIC participant. Approximately 1.5 million mothers, babies, and children receive WIC foods each month which adds approximately $93 million into communities across California.
  • WIC supports community healthcare providers by encouraging WIC families to receive regular health care.
  • Authorized WIC vendors are required to stock healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products and other healthy food choices. These communities may otherwise lack such healthy choices.
  • Go to this two minute YouTube video below to see what WIC can do for your families.

You may be eligible for WIC services if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum or have children under five years of age and meet the income guidelines.

Log on to to check your eligibility.

Apply WIC in 3 easy steps...

  1. Go to to select a WIC site nearest to you.
  2. Call our toll free number 1-888-Your WIC or 1-888-968-7942 to make an appointment.
  3. Bring your identification, proof of address, and proof income to your WIC appointment.

Very Simple! Take Action Now. Enroll in WIC Today!

You may get the following foods depending on your nutritional need. You may receive the following foods. For specific food packages, go to the WIC Homepage main menu.

  • WIC food bag
    Fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, canned).
  • 100% juice.
  • Whole wheat/whole grain foods: 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, soft corn or whole wheat tortillas.
  • Beans, peas, lentils (canned or dried).
  • Peanut butter.
  • Canned fish (light tuna or pink salmon).
  • Milk, eggs, cheese.
  • Soymilk
  • Infant cereals, fruits and vegetables, and meats.
  • Standard contract formulas.
  • Exempt (special) formulas for infants and children with special needs.
  • Medical foods for children and women with special needs.

You may still be eligible to receive WIC services even if you work.

For a quick screening, log on to:

No, receiving WIC benefits is not considered a public charge and should not affect a participant's application for U.S. citizenship.