WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is funded and administered at the national level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). At the state level, the program is operated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Nutrition Services and WIC. The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center operates the program at the local level. WIC is a nutrition education and supplemental food program for pregnant women, infants, and children under the age of five. Income and medical nutrition guidelines apply. Services that are provided include health screening, risk assessment, nutrition education, breastfeeding education & counseling, and referrals for health care.
Benefits of WIC
Experience shows that women who participate in the WIC program have fewer low birth weight babies, experience fewer infant deaths, see the doctor earlier in pregnancy and eat healthier. The goal of the WIC program is to improve the health and nutrition of eligible women, infants, and children.
- Prenatal breastfeeding classes
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program
- International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
- Double electric breast pump loan program
- After hours breastfeeding support line
- Mom-to-mom breastfeeding support group
Who Is Eligible
- Pregnant women
- Women who are breastfeeding a baby under 1 year of age
- Women who have had a baby in the past six months or end of the pregnancy
- Children under the age of 5
In addition, nutritional and income guidelines do apply.
How Do I Apply For WIC?
To see if you qualify for WIC services, use this pre-screening tool (provided by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service) at https://wic.fns.usda.gov/wps/pages/start.jsf or contact 573-335-4330.
Things To Bring:
Person being certified – The pregnant woman or new mother, as well as the infants or children being certified, must come for the visit.
Proof of Income - Bring proof of current household income for everyone in the household. Examples of proof of income include: pay stubs from recent check (within 30 days) or a letter from an employer, proof of unemployment pay stubs. If you currently receive TANF, Food Stamps, or MO Health Net, you can bring proof of your participation in that program instead of proof of household income.
Proof That You Live In Missouri - Bring documentation of where you live. Examples include a utility bill, a postmarked piece of mail addressed to you at your address, your lease or a rent receipt from your landlord, a bank statement, bank book, and checkbook, your driver license or other ID card.
Proof Of Identity - Bring proof of identity for everyone who will be on the WIC program. Examples include a driver’s license, birth certificate, immunization record, other photo ID card, military card, passport, birth certificate. For an infant, you may bring hospital discharge papers or nursery bracelet.
Medicaid (MOHealthNet) card – If you have this service, you should provide a Medicaid card for each person being certified.
Child or Infant’s Immunization Records – Please bring all records your have of your child’s immunization history.
Report Fraud and Abuse of the WIC Program
The Missouri WIC Program takes all complaints seriously and encourages the immediate reporting of an alleged WIC program abuse, violation or fraud.
WIC Participant abuse includes the following:
Falsely obtaining WIC benefits including: Giving false information to get on WIC, including gross household income, residency, identity, household size, medical and health information.
Improper Use of WIC Checks Including:
Selling WIC foods/formula or checks for cash or credit
Returning WIC foods/formula for cash or credit
Purchasing unauthorized items
Altering WIC checks
WIC Vendor Abuse Includes The Following:
Redeeming WIC checks for cash, credit, or unauthorized items
Overcharging WIC shoppers
Failing to fill in the purchase price on the WIC check in the presence of the WIC participant.
Physically or verbally threatening a WIC participant
Purchasing infant formula from unauthorized sources
WIC refers clients to a variety of health and social services agencies and programs. Examples include: MO Health Net, Food Stamps, Prenatal care, Medical and Dental Services, Family Planning, Immunizations, Head Start, Early Childhood, and First Steps.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services – WIC Program (http://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/index.php)
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution, is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write to the USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services complaint of discrimination Form: http://health.mo.gov/living/families/wic/nondiscrimination.php
USDA Form: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html