Nutrition

WIC (Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)

What is WIC?

WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, healthcare referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Who Gets WIC?

To be eligible for the WIC Program, applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Categorical:

    Women: Pregnant (during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the birth of an infant or the end of the pregnancy) Postpartum (up to six months after the birth of the infant or the end of the pregnancy) Breastfeeding (up to the infant's first birthday)

    Infants: Up to the infant's first year.

    Children: Up to the child's fifth birthday.
  • Residential:The program is available in all 50 States, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

    Applicants must live in the State in which they apply.

    Applicants are not required to live in the State or local service area for a certain amount of time in order to meet the WIC residency requirement.
  • Income:To be eligible for WIC, applicants must have income at or below an income level or standard set by the State agency or be determined automatically income-eligible based on participation in certain programs.

    Income Standard: The State agency's income standard must be between 100 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines.

    Income Eligibility Guidelines

    Automatic Income Eligibility: Certain applicants can be determined income-eligible for WIC based on their participation in certain programs. These included individuals:
  • eligible to receive SNAP benefits, Medicaid, for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, formerly known as AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children),
  • in which certain family members are eligible to receive Medicaid or TANF, or
  • at State agency option, individuals that are eligible to participate in certain other State-administered programs.
  • Nutrition Risk:Applicants must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist who must determine whether the individual is at nutrition risk. In many cases, this is done in the WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant. However, this information can be obtained from another health professional such as the applicant's physician.

    "Nutrition Risk:" means that an individual has medical-based or dietary-based conditions. Examples of medical-based conditions include anemia (low blood levels), underweight, or history of poor pregnancy outcome. A dietary-based condition includes, for example, a poor diet.
A: WIC is a short-term program. Therefore, a participant will "graduate" at the end of one or more certification periods. A certification period is the length of time a WIC participant is eligible to receive benefits. Depending on whether the individual is pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding, an infant, or a child, an eligible individual usually receives WIC benefits from 6 months to a year, at which time she/he must reapply.
A: Contact the WIC State or local agency serving your area to schedule an appointment. Applicants will be advised about what to bring to the WIC appointment to help determine eligibility.
List of Local WIC Offices and Toll-Free Numbers

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Program)

What is SNAP?

SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. With SNAP, you get an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. You use it like a debit card to buy food at the grocery store. SNAP puts benefits on this card once a month.

Who Can Apply?

SNAP is for people and families with low incomes. Anyone can apply. If you qualify, you will receive SNAP. The amount depends on your income, your expenses, and your family size.

If you are an immigrant, you have to prove you have legal status to apply for SNAP. Getting SNAP will not hurt your chances to become a citizen if you are documented. You may have a waiting period before you can get SNAP.

Some immigrants that may be able to get SNAP without having to wait:

  • Documented immigrant children under age 18
  • Refugees
  • Elderly and disabled

  • Your children may be able to get SNAP even if you cannot. The application is in your children’s names, not yours.

    Eligibility

    Applicants must meet all of the following requirements:
    • Resources: Households may have $2,250 in countable resources, such as a bank account, or $3,250 in countable resources if at least one person is age 60 or older, or is disabled.
    • Income: Households have to meet income tests unless all members are receiving TANF, SSI, or in some places general assistance.

    How to Apply for Benefits?

    You must fill out an application and return it to a local SNAP office. Each State has a different application.

    List of Local SNAP Offices and Toll-Free Numbers

    How Much a Person Could Receive?

    The amount of benefits the household gets is called an allotment. The net monthly income of the household is multiplied by .3, and the result is subtracted from the maximum allotment for the household size to find the household's allotment.

    Benefit Calculator

    SFSP (Summer Food Service Program)

    LULAC and USDA are collaborating to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

    Who Does the Program Serve?

    The SFSP serves children and teens age 18 and younger.

    How Can I Find a Site in My Community?

    To find a meal service site near where you live, contact organizations in your community that are offering an activity program. Organizations offering activities for children are often local schools, community centers, recreation centers, and faith-based organizations. You may also call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE. If you are unable to find a site in your area, please contact your State agency and ask for the location of a meal service site in your community.

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