What do you know about WIC?

What is WIC?
The Arkansas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a nutrition program that provides nutrition and health education, healthy foods, referrals and other services to individuals who qualify.

Who qualifies for WIC?
You can participate in the Arkansas WIC Program if you: Are an infant, child under 5, or a pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum woman. Live in Arkansas. There is no waiting period to meet the residency requirement. Meet income guidelines. These guidelines are set at 185% of poverty. Recipients of Medicaid, ARKids First, TEA, TEFRA and/or SNAP (Food Stamps) are automatically income eligible for WIC. You are nutritionally eligible. WIC staff will determine nutritional need during a nutrition assessment that is performed by a health care professional.

What benefits does WIC provide?
WIC provides many benefits including personalized nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, healthy foods to help supplement the diet, and referrals for medical and dental care, immunizations, health insurance, childcare, and other services. It is important to know that all benefits of the Arkansas WIC Program are provided at no cost to the participant. The specific food benefits provided by WIC can vary by participant type, but the main foods provided include milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, whole grains such as bread, rice or tortillas, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, dried or canned beans or peas, peanut butter, canned fish, infant cereal, infant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and meats, and iron-fortified infant formula.

How can I get a WIC appointment? If you are a parent, grandparent, foster parent or other guardian of a child under five, you can apply for WIC for that child or if you are pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding you can apply for WIC for yourself by contacting any county public health unit to make an appointment.
What do I need to bring to my appointment? There are three things every applicant must bring to their WIC appointment:

1. Proof of Identity. Examples include: photo ID, such as driver’s license, passport, school ID or military ID, active Medicaid or Social Security Card. Birth certificate, voter registration card, current check stub, medical records, hospital records, immunization records, foster care documentation.

2. You need proof of Arkansas residency. Examples include: current cable, telephone or utility bill in the name of a household member, current mortgage, rent receipts or statement from landlord reflecting address, proof of Arkansas Medicaid, ARKids, SNAP, TEFRA or TEA for anyone in the household.

3. Proof of income. Examples include: current check stub, signed statement from employer indicating gross earnings for a specified pay period, W-2 forms or income tax return for the most recent calendar year, unemployment letter/notice, check/award letter from Social Security stating current amount of earnings, recent Leave and Earning Statement (LES) for military personnel, foster child placement letter/foster parent award letter, written statement from a third party for applicants reporting zero income or regular contributions from persons not living in the household, recipients of Medicaid, ARKids First, TEA, TEFRA and/or SNAP are eligible regardless of household income, but must provide proof of eligibility with a letter from the Department of Human Services (DHS) concerning effective dates.

In addition to these items, if you have an infant that will need a formula besides Gerber Good Start Gentle, Soothe, or Soy, or a child who needs any formula, a medical prescription will be needed.

You can receive WIC from any county local health unit in the state regardless of which county you live in. For example, if you work in a different county than where you live, you can receive WIC in the county in which you work. To find a local county health unit and their contact information visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov and click on Local Health Units or call 1-800-235-0002.

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