Updated WIC Guidelines May Help More Families, Says Wyoming Department of Health
With families feeling the pinch at the grocery store under the high inflation, the Wyoming WIC Program’s new income guidelines may offer some relief.
WIC is officially known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Program, and is a joint federal and state government effort under the USDA. The program provides eligible families with education and nutritious food, as well as healthcare referrals for children under age 5 and pregnant women. But the main way the program helps families is through a benefit card that allows participants to save money on nutritious food.
Tina Fearneyhough, WIC program manager with the Wyoming Department of Health, praised the effectiveness of WIC in a press release Friday.
“For families who participate in WIC, we offer support that can really make a difference for new moms and families with young children,” Fearneyhough said. “It’s been shown time and again that WIC is effective at improving the health of pregnant women, new mothers and their young children.”
Wyoming WIC serves families with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. Qualifying income guidelines for WIC have been updated for the next year and include:
1 person family: $25,142/year or $2,096/month
2 person family: $33,874/year or $2,823/month
3 person family: $42,606/year or $3,551/month
4 person family: $51,338/year or $4,279/month
5 person family: $60,070/year or $5,006/month
Families already using SNAP, TANF or Wyoming Medicaid benefits also qualify for WIC. All caregivers are welcome to receive help from the program, including dads, foster parents, guardians, grandparents and step-parents. There is no established limit to the number of eligible participants WIC can serve.
The ongoing baby formula shortage adds another layer of food insecurity for families with infants. Fearneyhough says WIC has taken steps to help families through it.
“Our program has added temporary flexibility to help Wyoming WIC families meet their formula needs until things get back to normal,” said Fearneyhough. “While supply challenges continue to affect formula availability, especially for the specialty formulas certain babies need for health issues, we are seeing an improving situation.”
Those who may be eligible are encouraged to apply for WIC. Residents can find out if they are eligible for the program by going to https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/wic/apply-for-wic/.