Better Nutrition for a Brighter Future
The Maryland WIC Program is a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children under 5.
WIC is a federally funded program that provides healthy supplemental foods and nutrition counseling for pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children under age five. The program has an extraordinary 35-year record of preventing children's health problems and improving their long-term health, growth and development. WIC serves over 9.1 million women, infants and children through over 10,000 clinics nationwide. In 2010, Maryland WIC served over 148,000 women, infants and children each month.
Effects of WIC Participation on Pregnant Women
Numerous studies have shown that pregnant women who participate in WIC have longer pregnancies leading to fewer premature births; have fewer low birth-weight babies; experience fewer fetal and infant deaths; seek prenatal care earlier in pregnancy and consume more of such key nutrients as iron, protein, calcium and vitamin C.
Effects of WIC Participation on Children
Low-income children enrolled in the WIC Program have a lower prevalence of anemia than those who are not enrolled. One study found that the anemia rate among children at the six-month WIC recertification visit was lower than the rate at the initial WIC screening, indicating the positive effect of WIC participation. Other studies found that four and five-year-olds whose mothers participated in WIC during pregnancy had better vocabulary test scores than children whose mothers had not received WIC benefits.
WIC's Guiding Principles
- We will treat all people with understanding, dignity and respect.
- We will continuously evaluate and improve the program.
- We will assure maximum program integrity, efficiency and accountability.
- We will promote the importance of the program within the community and assure equal accessibility.
- We will provide information and encouragement that will empower families to make positive decisions about nutrition.
We envision a future Maryland WIC program that...
- Promotes the optimal health and nutritional status of future generations and operates as an integral component of a comprehensive, efficient and interactive health care system; and
- Insures the health and well being of women, infants and children in need through the provision of preventative services, including nutrition education, selected supplemental foods and health referrals.
WIC's Mission Statement
To assist eligible women, infants and children to achieve improved nutrition and health status by providing nutrition education, selected supplemental foods, and health referrals in a caring, supportive environment.
WIC and You
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or retaliation. To file a complaint alleging discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call, toll free, (866) 632-9992 (Voice). TDD users can contact USDA through local relay or the Federal Relay at (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (relay voice users). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.