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WIC Program: A crucial resource for low-income families struggling with nutrition

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program that provides low-income breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to the age of five who are at nutritional risk, with supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education, based on the released report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on October 5, 2022.

WIC is overseen by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by state agencies across the United States. The program was first implemented as a pilot in 1972, made permanent in 1974, and its name was changed to emphasize its function as a nutrition program in 1994, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on August 2, 2022.

While it is possible to use WIC at Walgreens, it depends on whether the specific store has been approved as a WIC retailer (Walgreens). However, WIC benefits cannot be used online, including on Amazon. Although Walmart does accept WIC payments in stores, there is currently no online shopping option for WIC recipients.

To be eligible for WIC, applicants must live in the state where they are applying and be either pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, or have a child who is five years old or younger. Automatic qualification for WIC benefits is also available for individuals or families participating in certain other benefit programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, or TANF, according to the USDA.

 

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