CHEYENNE — Monthly benefits for the families participating in the Wyoming WIC Program, which is operated by the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), will see a significant temporary boost over the next few months.
The Wyoming WIC Program is also known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Program. It’s a joint federal and state government effort under the USDA that provides nutritious foods and education, breastfeeding support and healthcare referrals for income-eligible women who are pregnant or postpartum, infants and children up to age 5. All caregivers are welcome to receive help from the program including dads, foster parents, guardians, grandparents and step-parents.
Through September 30, the fruit and vegetable voucher included as one part of WIC benefits has been increased to $35/month per participant from the standard $9/month for children and $11/month for women. The increase was included in the federal American Rescue Plan Act approved earlier this year.
Melissa Stehwien, WIC program manager with WDH, said, “Providing even more nutritious, delicious fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen) during the peak growing season than we already offer can both promote healthier living and help to reduce food insecurity.”
Qualifying income guidelines for the program will also be updated July 1. Wyoming WIC serves families with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines. New guidelines include:
- 1 person family -$23,828/year or $1,986/month
- 2 person family -$32,227/year or $2,686/month
- 3 person family -$40,626/year or $3,386/month
- 4 person family -$49,025/year or $4,086/month
- 5 person family -$57,424/year or $4,786/month
Families already using SNAP, TANF or Wyoming Medicaid benefits also qualify for WIC. There is no established limit to the number of eligible participants WIC can serve.
Stehwien said the new guidelines may help a few more families be eligible and encouraged people to apply as soon as possible. Wyoming residents can find out if they are eligible for WIC by going to signupwic.com.
“For families who participate in WIC, we offer healthy food as well as shopping ideas,” Stehwien said. “The support we can provide for new moms and families with young children can promote healthier starts.”
Wyoming WIC continued offering benefits and services to program clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. WIC clinics are located throughout the state and can be found by using the “Clinic Locator” online at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/wic/ or by calling 1-888-996-9378 to be routed to a local clinic.