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Happy Birthday! USDA Celebrates WIC Program Anniversary, Accomplishments

Posted by Diane M. Kriviski, Deputy Administrator, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service in Food and Nutrition
Feb 21, 2017
New moms participate in a group discussion with WIC counselor.
New moms participate in a group discussion with WIC counselor.

Birthdays are truly special occasions, celebrating a milestone of achievement. This week, USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (better known as WIC) celebrates the program’s 40th anniversary, highlighting four decades of helping improve the lives of millions of infants and children across America.

Since the first WIC clinic opened in Pineville, Ky., back in 1974, the program now provides services through almost 1,900 local agencies in all 50 states, 34 Tribal Organizations, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

For 40 years the WIC Program has improved the health of nutritionally at-risk, low-income women, infants and children up to age five.
For 40 years the WIC Program has improved the health of nutritionally at-risk, low-income women, infants and children up to age five.

Key to the program’s success are its nearly 10,000 clinics, which provide supplemental nutritious food, health care referrals, and nutrition education, as well as helping to promote and support breastfeeding through efforts like Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work. The results speak for themselves. Thanks to WIC’s health care referrals, participants use more of all types of health care services – including dental care and immunizations.

WIC plays an important role in educating moms on nutrition and supporting their efforts to breastfeed.
WIC plays an important role in educating moms on nutrition and supporting their efforts to breastfeed.

Over the last four decades, the WIC Program has consistently shown to lead to better pregnancy results, such as increased birth weights and fewer premature births. And WIC benefits are available to children up to age five, providing healthy nutrition and instilling healthy behaviors they can carry with them for a lifetime.

Taken together, the contribution this vital program has made to improve the lives of millions of expectant moms, infants and kids over the past 40 years clearly makes the WIC anniversary a birthday we can all celebrate.

Nutrition education has been a vital part WIC since the program began back in 1974.
Nutrition education has been a vital part WIC since the program began back in 1974.
Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition

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Comments

Harold Rivera
Oct 23, 2014

Thank You

Julie
Oct 30, 2014

I have been a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor in Western NY for the past 10 years and am very proud of the accomplishments that WIC has made in regard to breastfeeding support. We provide many great resources to promote and assist breastfeeding. Thank you to everyone who supports our moms and families who breastfeed their babies. The healthcare system and the general public play a great role in helping our moms to initiate and continue breastfeeding.

Renee
Nov 03, 2014

The work WIC does with mommies and babies will last a lifetime with those families. WIC is a wonderful program full of counselors dieticians, etc who give the mom support when she needs it most to be able to provide for her baby or babies. Thank you!!!!