In late June, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program announced revised U.S. Department of Agriculture income guidelines for eligibility in the WIC Program.
To be eligible for WIC benefits, an applicant must meet income guidelines and be at nutritional risk. An applicant’s gross income (i.e. before taxes are withheld) must be at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. For example, a family of four may earn up to $44,863 annually, $3,739 monthly and $863 weekly. Family size includes the baby/babies of pregnant women. Applicants who currently receive Medicaid, SNAP or TANF are automatically income-eligible for WIC.
The WIC Program benefits pregnant women, new mothers, breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age 5. WIC provides nutritious foods, information on healthy eating, breastfeeding education and support, and referrals to health care and community services. Breastfeeding is promoted as the healthiest way to feed infants.
WIC benefits are used at local grocery stores for specific food items. WIC foods include milk, cheese, eggs, juice, cereal, fruits, vegetables, tuna, salmon, sardines, bread, brown rice, tortillas, beans, peanut butter and baby food.