INDIANAPOLIS — More Indiana families may be eligible for nutrition benefits through the Women, Infants and Children program under revised federal poverty guidelines for 2016.
WIC is a supplemental nutrition program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and managed by the Indiana State Department of Health. It provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support and nutrition education to pregnant women, postpartum women, breastfeeding mothers and children up to the age of 5 who are at health or nutritional risk and meet income guidelines. More than 150,000 Hoosiers participate in the program each month.
“WIC provides expectant mothers, infants and young children education and resources to develop healthy eating habits early in life,” said Indiana WIC Director Eldon Whetstone. “WIC staff include registered dietitians and certified lactation consultants who can provide participants support they cannot receive anywhere else. I encourage anyone who could benefit from our services to visit our website to locate the WIC clinic nearest them and inquire whether they are eligible.”
To qualify for WIC benefits, individuals must have incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Families who receive Medicaid or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program benefits already meet the income requirements. Families who do not qualify for these programs may be eligible for WIC because of its higher income limits.
Income guidelines are based on gross pay and household size. A pregnant woman counts as two household members. Under the revised guidelines, a family of two making $29,637 a year before deductions can qualify for WIC benefits, while a family of four making $44,955 a year is eligible. For a full list of guidelines by family size, visit http://1.usa.gov/1WbT8Ps.
Using WIC benefits has never been easier. By September, all Indiana WIC participants will be using an EBT card instead of paper checks. The card looks like a debit card and is loaded with WIC benefits, allowing participants to purchase authorized foods anytime during their 30-day benefit cycle.
For more information about Indiana WIC or to find a clinic, visit www.wic.in.gov or call (800) 522-0874.
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