WIC announces new Income Guidelines
by Martha Sparks
The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health announces new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) income guidelines for eligibility in the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Nutrition Program. These changes represent an increase in the income amounts that qualify a family to participate in program benefits.
WIC is a short term intervention program designed to influence lifetime nutrition and health behavior in pregnant women, new mothers, breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to the age of 5 years old.
WIC offers nutrition education and services, breastfeeding promotion and education, nutritious foods, and access to maternal, prenatal and pediatric healthcare services. As a matter of fact, the monthly food package of healthy foods, valued at about $60 in grocery stores, includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads, baby foods of cereal, fruits, vegetables and meats as well as dairy products of milk, cheese and eggs.
The new income guidelines are:
• Household of one, Gross Income per week is now $409; per month is $1,772, and yearly is $21,257.
• Household of two can gross $552 per week, $2,392 per month or $28,694 per year.
• Household of three can gross $695 per week, $3,011 per month or $36,131 per year.
• Household of four can gross $838 per week, $3,631 per year or $43,568 year.
For each additional family member add $144 per week, $620 per month or $7,437 per year.
WIC is for all kinds of families: married and single parents, working or not working. If you are a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent or other legal guardian of a child under five, you can apply for WIC.
Beginning in March, the WV WIC Program began piloting an online, integrated WIC electronic benefits transfer (EBT) system. WIC EBT, more commonly referred to as eWIC, improves the WIC shopping experience which gives families needed access to benefits without the stigma of paper vouchers.
“The eWIC card makes the grocery purchase process identical to all other shoppers,” said Denise Ferris, State WIC Director. “WIC participants can swipe their eWlC cards along with other methods of payment which allows participants to shop confidentially, but also makes possible small — even one item — purchases, which they haven’t been able to do under the traditional WIC system.”
To learn if your family is eligible for WIC services, call your local WIC clinic or 304-558-0030.
For more information, visit http://ons.wvdhhr.org
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