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WIC program: A lifeline for low-income families in need of healthy nutrition

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal program aimed at providing low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to the age of five who are nutritionally at-risk, with the necessary support to maintain a healthy diet. The program offers federal grants for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education and is overseen on a federal level by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, as reported by the Center on Budget and Priorities on October 5, 2022.

State agencies are responsible for determining eligibility and providing benefits and services across the United States. This includes authorizing vendors, such as local Walgreens stores, and determining the specific programs and services available to eligible recipients in each state. Although Walgreens stores are located across the country, their participation in WIC depends on state approval. To check if your local Walgreens is approved, you can contact the store and ask for more information.

WIC is a federal nutrition program for low-income women, infants, and children. It was first introduced in 1972 and became permanent in 1974; it was later renamed the “Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act” in 1994. WIC benefits are currently not available for online purchases at popular retailers like Amazon and Walmart; however, they offer discounts for Amazon Prime to WIC recipients.

To be eligible for WIC benefits, applicants must live in the state in which they apply and be either pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum, or a child five years of age or younger. Additionally, automatic eligibility for benefits is available for those participating in certain other benefit programs like SNAP, Medicaid, or TANF, as per a report by Marca on December 26, 2022.

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