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The meaning of «wic»

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal assistance program of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for healthcare and nutrition of low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of five. (See child nutrition programs.) Their mission is to be a partner with other services that are key to childhood and family well-being.[1] The basic eligibility requirement is a family income below 185% of the federal poverty level. Most states allow automatic income eligibility, where a person or family participating in certain benefits programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, may automatically meet the income eligibility requirements. Currently, WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.[2]

An amendment to section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 on September 26, 1972. The legislation, P.L. 92-433, sponsored by Senator Hubert Humphrey (D) of Minnesota established the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as a two-year pilot program. Eligibility was limited to children up to age four and excluded non-breastfeeding postpartum women. By the end of 1974, WIC was operating in 45 states. On October 7, 1975, WIC was established as a permanent program (P.L. 94-105). Eligibility was extended to non-breastfeeding women (up to six months postpartum) and children up to five years of age. However, all participants must be deemed to be at nutrition risk and with inadequate income (however, what constituted inadequate income was not defined). In 1978, P.L. 95-627 defined nutrition risk and established income eligibility standards that were linked to the income standards associated with reduced price school meals. Another income standard change took place in 1989, when P.L. 101-147 established similar income eligibility for Food Stamp, Medicaid, and AFDC participation, thus lowering the WIC income standard and simplifying the application process. WIC began to promote and support breastfeeding women in the late 1980s, and in 1989 Congress mandated $8 million be used specifically for that purpose. Also in 1999, the WIC program standardized nutrition risk criteria for program eligibility and began assigning individual nutrition risk priority levels.

In December 2000, the White House issued an executive memorandum authorizing the WIC program to begin screening clients for childhood immunization status. The motivation for this was the fact that WIC had the access to the greatest number of low-income children and thus had the greatest potential for helping immunization rates. They also directed that immunization screening and referral become a standard part of WIC certification. It mentioned that the new WIC minimum immunization screening and referral is only for use in the WIC program. Across WIC programs, it has become standardized as an accurate, efficient and appropriate screening and referral process. WIC state and local agencies must coordinate with the providers of immunization screening.[3]

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