About the Program
For over 40 years, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has been a health and nutrition program with a successful record for improving the diet of infants, children, and pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women who are at risk for nutrition-related illness. The main focus of the WIC program is to educate mothers on the proper nutrition for babies and young children.
WIC promotes a better quality of life for Texas’ most vulnerable children by providing healthful foods, nutrition education for parents, immunizations for infants and young children, support for mothers who breastfeed, and medical and social-service referrals. Through referrals, WIC is able to connect participants to job programs and other educational benefits.
WIC creates significant savings in the Texas Medicaid program by promoting better nutrition among low-income pregnant women and infants. For every dollar invested in the WIC program for pregnant women, about $2.90 is saved in Medicaid expenses in Texas for women and babies in the first 60 days after birth (based on a Mathematica study, 1990).
WIC foods are rich in protein, iron, Vitamins C and A, and calcium, which are vital to healthy development during pregnancy and early childhood.
Benefits are available in all 254 Texas counties through more than 70 contracting agencies, which include city-county health departments, community action agencies, hospital districts, university medical facilities, and regional clinics of the Department of State Health Services. Texas WIC currently provides services each month to more than 900,000 women, infants, and children. WIC serves approximately 75 percent of the women and children estimated to be eligible for the program in Texas and more than half of the babies in Texas get WIC services.