Macon County Public Health
To see if you are eligible for WIC or to set up an appointment, please call (828) 349-2453.
WIC Program - Women, Infants & Children
This Institution is an equal opportunity provider
WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children. It is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which provides food to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, their infants and children up to the age of five. In addition to supplemental food, the program provides a combination of nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals for immunizations and health care. Studies have proven that WIC is effective in preventing nutrition related health problems.
Nutrition education is available to all WIC participants and their parents/caregivers. The purpose of nutrition education is to teach participants the relationship between nutrition and good health, to improve dietary habits, and to promote the use of nutritious foods including WIC supplemental foods.
Breastfeeding promotion and support is an integral part of the WIC Program. WIC personnel strive to assist mothers in making informed decisions about their infant feeding choices as well as providing breastfeeding aids such as breast pumps. An enhanced food package is provided for women who exclusively breastfeed their babies.
To participate in WIC, eligible women, infants and children must meet residence and income requirements. Recertification is required at six-month intervals for children and breastfeeding women. A pregnant woman's certification is valid until six weeks post partum. After recertification, post partum women can continue to receive WIC services until six months post partum. Breastfeeding women can receive WIC benefits until one year after delivery or until breastfeeding is discontinued after six months post partum.
Infant assessments are done during the first three months after birth and at six months of age. Nutrition education is provided at infant assessments, certifications and voucher issuance visits.
A nutritionist prescribes an individual food package for each participant based on their nutrition needs assessment. WIC approved foods include milk, cheese, juice, eggs, cereal, peanut butter, canned or dried beans and peas, tuna, salmon, bread, brown rice or tortillas (whole grains), fresh, frozen or canned fruits & vegetables, and tofu (prescription needed). Baby formula, baby food and infant cereal is available for babies.
After the certification process is complete, WIC food is provided through vouchers, which are redeemed at North Carolina grocery stores participating in the WIC Program. These WIC vendors attend annual training and sign contracts with the state of North Carolina. They are monitored by WIC staff for compliance with regulations.
WIC FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Question: What is WIC?
Answer: WIC is a special supplemental food and nutrition education program for Women, Infants, and Children funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Question: Am I eligible for WIC?
Answer: WIC is for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to five years of age.
Question: If I have a miscarriage, can I still qualify for WIC?
Answer: Yes, you could still be eligible for six months after a miscarriage.
Question: How do I get the WIC foods?
Answer: After you are certified, the WIC staff will issue vouchers listing the types and amount of food you can receive. You can use these vouchers at any participating grocery store in North Carolina.
Question: I sometimes buy groceries in Georgia. Can I use the WIC vouchers there?
Answer: No, only grocery stores in North Carolina can accept WIC vouchers issued in North Carolina.
Question: How do I apply for WIC?
Answer: Call or come by the WIC office to make an appointment.
Question: How long does a certification take:
Answer: A certification takes about an hour for one person. If there is more than one person in the family applying, it will take longer.
Question: What do I need to bring when I apply for WIC?
Answer: You will need to bring your infant or child if applying for them, identification for yourself and your infant or child, proof of residence and proof of income. You also need to bring an up-to-date immunization record, and Medicaid card if you or your child is on Medicaid.
Question: Does my infant or child need to be present for every appointment?
Answer: No, infants need to be physically present at initial certification and at six months of age for an infant assessment. Children need to come in for initial certification and subsequent recertification at six-month intervals.
Question: How often do I need to come in to pick up WIC vouchers?
Answer: Vouchers are normally issued at three-month intervals. Under certain circumstances, you may need to come in more often.
Question: Why and how often is nutrition education provided?
Answer: Nutrition education is a benefit which distinguishes the WIC Program from other food assistance programs. Federal guidelines require that nutrition education be offered to all WIC participants/caretakers at no cost to improve their health status and nutrition habits. Nutrition contacts are made at certification and at least one other time during the certification period. This is usually at the same time you come in to pick up vouchers.
Question: How can I get certified for WIC if I work from 8 - 5 Monday through Friday?
Answer: WIC has two evening clinics every month to accommodate those who work during our normal business hours.
Question: Should I apply for WIC if I plan on moving soon?
Answer: Yes, we can give you a verification of certification card to take with you when you move. That will make it easier to transfer your WIC to the program where you move.
Question: Should I breastfeed my baby?
Answer: WIC promotes breastfeeding because of the superior nature of human milk and its positive effects on growth and health. The benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby are widely recognized and documented. These benefits include the superior nutritional composition of breast milk, immunological components, enhanced bonding between mother and baby, convenience and helps you regain your shape faster.
Question: Where can I get a breast pump, so I can continue breastfeeding when I go back to work?
Answer: Macon County Public Health Center has breast pumps to rent.
Question: If I breastfeed when I'm at home and supplement with formula when I'm at work, can I still get formula through WIC?
Answer: Yes, WIC can provide supplemental formula for breastfed babies but encourages you to breastfeed as much as possible.
Question: What kind of infant formula can I get on WIC?
Answer: The state of North Carolina contracts with one of the formula companies to provide formula for the WIC Program. If your baby has tried all of the WIC contract formulas and cannot tolerate any of them, you will need to ask his/her doctor to write a prescription for the formula that he/she needs. Special formulas can only be given with a prescription from the doctor.
Question: My doctor put me on bed rest. Can someone else pick up my WIC voucher for me?
Answer: Yes, if you designated someone as a proxy when you were certified for WIC. They must bring your WIC ID Wallet or show proof of identity.
Question: My WIC vouchers were either lost or stolen. Can you replace them?
Answer: Lost or stolen vouchers can be replaced only with a police or fire report. You will be subject to probation or suspension for falsely reporting lost or stolen vouchers. You must return to the WIC Program any vouchers that were reported lost or stolen and later found.
Question: My baby takes more formula than he/she gets on his WIC vouchers. Can you give me more?
Answer: No, the WIC Program is a supplemental food program and, therefore, limits the amount of each food we can provide. The nutritionist will be happy to talk with you about your baby's nutritional needs and feeding schedule.