Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
What Services Are Available?
WIC is a federally funded nutrition program serving pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women; infants; and children under the age of 5 who have low-to-moderate income and are at nutritional risk.
WIC helps to prevent low birth weight infants and infant deaths by improving the diet of pregnant women. In addition, the program helps to improve the growth of children who participate in the program.
WIC provides the following at no cost to its clients:
- nutritious foods
- breastfeeding promotion and support
- nutrition education and counseling
- referrals to health care, immunizations, and community services
Who Is Eligible?
Receive Your WIC Benefits Electronically
A change in the Polk/Hardee Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program makes shopping for WIC foods easier than ever. The WIC program is now using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system which allows clients to purchase WIC eligible items at checkout with an electronic card, instead of using paper checks.
“The WIC/EBT system is proving to be more efficient, cost effective, and reliable for our clients”, said Dr. Ulyee Choe, director of the Department of Health in Polk County. “The switch to this new system makes it easy for WIC eligible families in Polk and Hardee Counties to purchase healthy foods.”
The switch to an Electronic Benefit Transfer system provides many benefits:
• Clients can now buy as many or as few assigned WIC items at one time.
• EBT cards reduce the time spent checking out in line at the grocery store.
• Each card is attached to a personal identification number reducing the risk of fraud.
• Vendors should experience an estimated 90% reduction in WIC processing costs.
• Clients can check the balance on their card online or by telephone.
• Un-used benefits can be replaced if the card is lost or stolen.
WIC is a federally funded supplemental nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education and breastfeeding support to income eligible families. Statewide the Florida WIC program operates 220 sites where families can receive services from licensed nutritionists and nutrition educators along with their healthy foods. Polk/Hardee WIC serves over 21,300 women, infants, and children in ten clinic sites every month. The WIC program contributes about $1.3 million dollars to local businesses each month.
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