Who is eligible and who can apply?
- If you have a job or if you have private health insurance, you can still apply for WIC. You do not have to be married to apply for WIC.
- Parents, step-parents, guardians, and foster parents of infants and children under the age of 5 can apply for their children
- Women who have had a baby in the past six months
- Women who are breastfeeding a baby under 1 year of age
- Pregnant women
For more eligibility requirements, see below.
- You or your child must be a Washington state resident
- To be eligible on the basis of income, applicants’ income must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines (currently $45,510 for a family of four).
- A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.
|Income Guidelines for WIC
(Effective through June 2018)
people in your
*If you are pregnant, include each unborn child in household size.
Fathers of children under the age of 5 are encouraged to enroll their children in the WIC program. Just like any other parent or guardian, fathers can bring their children to appointments, attend nutrition classes, and receive and redeem benefits for their children. Active participation by fathers is a great help in keeping WIC children healthy.
How do I find a WIC clinic?
There are 10 WIC locations throughout Spokane County to serve you—six operated by Spokane Regional Health District and four operated by West Central Community Center. Click this link to find a location nearest you.
What happens at a WIC visit?
You or your child will undergo a simple health screening to determine nutritional risk. You will also receive nutrition education and will be provided with vouchers to take to the grocery store to buy nutritious foods.
What is included in the WIC shopping guide?
- WIC foods include infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish.
- Also, soy-based beverages, tofu, fresh fruits and vegetables, baby foods, whole wheat bread, and other whole-grain options were recently added to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants.
- WIC recognizes and promotes breastfeeding as the optimal source of nutrition for infants. For women who do not fully breastfeed, WIC provides iron-fortified infant formula. Special infant formulas and medical foods may be provided when prescribed by a physician for a specified medical condition.
View the WIC shopping guide
The following rules apply to WIC checks and WIC fruit and vegetable checks:
- Use your checks on or between the first and last day to use.
- Use a check only if your name is printed below the signature box.
- Shop only at approved stores. Look for the “WIC Checks Accepted Here” signs.
- Buy the amounts and types of foods listed on your checks.
- Separate your WIC foods by check and from other items you are buying.
- Let the checker know you are using WIC checks before you begin your purchase.
- Sign the check only after the checker sees your ID and writes in the amount.
These additional rules apply only to WIC fruit and vegetable checks:
- If more than one person in your family gets WIC fruit and vegetable checks, you can use them together.
- Example: You can combine a $8 WIC fruit and vegetable check with an $11 WIC fruit and vegetable check to pay for $21 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables in one visit.
- If your purchase costs more than the amount on the WIC fruit and vegetable check, you are allowed to pay the extra amount.
- Example: If the purchase costs $9, and you are using a $8 WIC fruit and vegetable check, you can pay the extra $1 to cover the cost.
If your purchase costs less than the amount on the WIC fruit and vegetable check, you are not allowed to receive money back.
Remember: Produce scales and register scales can weigh differently. Please be prepared to either pay the extra amount or to put a produce item back should your produce go over the dollar amount at the register.
All major grocery stores and superstores, along with one healthy corner store, accept WIC food checks in Spokane County. These stores include:
- Fred Meyer
- Trading Company
- Parkside Grocery – a Spokane Healthy Corner Store
What are the health effects of WIC?
Pregnant women on WIC:
- Have a better diet.
- Get into prenatal care earlier in pregnancy.
- Have fewer premature babies.
- Have fewer low and very low birth-weight babies.
- Experience fewer fetal and infant deaths.
Children on WIC:
- Have a better diet.
- Are more likely to have normal childhood growth.
- Have less childhood anemia.
- Have better immunization rates.
- Have better access to pediatric health care.
- Have increased vocabulary and memory scores.
Cost benefits of WIC
- Every WIC dollar used to serve pregnant women saves $1.92 to $4.21 in Medicaid costs.
- WIC reduces the rate of very low birth-weight babies by 44%. It costs between $30,000 and $70,000 to raise a low or very low birth-weight baby to normal weight.
For more information on “How WIC Helps,” click here.