W.I.C. stands for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. WIC is completely funded by the federal government, through the United States Department of Agriculture. In California, WIC is administered by the California Department of Public Health.
WIC provides education about health & nutrition, breastfeeding support, supplemental food cards, and referrals to other health resources. Nutrition education is the cornerstone of the WIC Program. WIC is a premier public health nutrition program, designed to improve health outcomes and influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors.
The WIC Program is designed to provide temporary assistance during these crucial, vulnerable periods of life: pregnancy, newborn, infancy, and the first few years of life. Participation in WIC has been shown to significantly reduce medical care costs, reduce iron deficiency anemia, reduce chances of having a premature or low birth weight baby, and improve the outcome of subsequent pregnancies. Children who participated in WIC during their early years were found to score higher on vocabulary tests when they started school.
Breastfeeding is supported by WIC as the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants. Breastfeeding also reduces healthcare costs, strengthens the immune system to prevent infections, helps to prevent obesity, and has other benefits.