Q:

Is the WIC program shutting down?

A:

Quick Answer

The federally funded WIC program is not shutting down. As of 2014, it is available in every state, the District of Columbia and some American territories, including Guam, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. WIC, which stands for Women, Infants and Children, is also available through 34 Native American tribal organizations.

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Full Answer

Formally known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, WIC is a source of food, nutritional education and medical referrals. While WIC is administered by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, grants are given to state agencies to run and maintain the program.

Participants must meet four eligibility requirements to receive WIC assistance. First, applicants must live in the state, territory or area where they want to receive assistance. Second, applicants must meet income requirements, which are set by each state agency. Third, program participants must be an infant; a child up to age 5; or a woman who is pregnant, has recently given birth, is breast-feeding, or is postpartum. Finally, applicants must have a nutritional risk, meaning they must have a medical or dietary condition such as poor diet or anemia. The nutritional risk of applicants must be assessed by a nutritionist, a nurse or other health care professional.

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