WIC - Women, Infants, & Children

What is the Wayne County WIC Program?

The Wayne County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is a health program program funded by the USDA. WIC provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, nutritious foods, and referrals to other health and human service agencies. The purpose of the program is to help improve diet during critical times of growth and development.  The foods provided by the program are supplemental and are not intended to provide all of your daily food requirements. 

The goals of the Ohio Department of Health, in releasing funds for the WIC program, are to improve the health status and prevent health problems within this population.

child with apple

Supplemental foods are provided through the use of the WIC Nutrition Card (WNC) that can be used throughout the state at vendors under contract with the State WIC program. Wayne County WIC works with several Wayne County grocers and one pharmacy for special orders. Wayne County WIC currently serves approximately 2,000 participants per month.

What are WIC Eligibility Criteria?
  • Be a resident of Ohio. Migrant workers are eligible to apply while they reside in the state.
  • Be at medical or nutritional risk. 
  • Must meet income guidelines.


A person currently receiving Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) automatically meets the income eligibility requirement regardless of actual gross income.

What is the Length of Eligibility?
  • Pregnant women are certified for their entire pregnancy typically through the end of the month in which they are due.
  • Breastfeeding women are certified every six months and may be eligible for up to twelve months postpartum.
  • Non-breastfeeding postpartum women are certified up to six months postpartum.
  • Infants are certified after birth and every six months up to their first birthday.
  • Children are certified every six months up to five years of age; they are no longer eligible after their fifth birthday.
What Services are Provided?

Nutrition Education

Nutrition education is available to all adult WIC participants or parents or caregivers of child and/or infant participants. The goals of nutrition education are:

  • to teach the relationship between proper nutrition and good health.
  • to achieve a positive change in the food consumption habits related to the participant's nutritional risk.
  • to promote the optimal use of WIC supplemental foods and other nutritious foods.
  • to provide nutrition education within the context of the ethnic and cultural preferences of the participant. Consideration is always given to the participant's language, educational background, and environmental limitations.

Twice a month hands-on classes are offered for children 2-5 years old to engage them in the food/nutrition process as well as to provide families with healthy recipes and food ideas that children will eat. Monthly classes are also offered for moms with infants ready to start solids as well as a class for infants beginning to explore table foods and drinking from a cup. All classes are available to WIC participants and are a 30-45 minute commitment. These are not a series but a one-time class. 

Breastfeeding Promotion and Support

Breastfeeding promotion and support are integral parts of the WIC program. WIC is striving to increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding among women enrolled in the program. Wayne County WIC established a full-time Breastfeeding Department in April 2010. A Breastfeeding Coordinator and Breastfeeding Peer Helpers are trained to assist mothers in making informed decisions about infant feeding and assisting mothers with breastfeeding concerns or questions. Breastfeeding classes are offered twice a month to WIC participants. This class is taught by an RN who is also a Certified Lactation Counselor and includes information on every aspect of breastfeeding to help participants in making a decision on breastfeeding. One-on-one or individual education is also available for those who are unable to attend a class or prefer a more personal experience. 

There are currently four Certified Lactation Counselors on staff at Wayne County WIC. They are here daily to answer any questions moms may have either during pregnancy or after the baby arrives.

In addition, breast pumps and other breastfeeding aids are also available. An enhanced food package is available for participants who are exclusively breastfeeding their babies and not receiving infant formula from WIC.

Immunization Assessment and Referral

Linkage of WIC and immunization services have been shown to improve the immunization status of WIC participants. Infants and children in the WIC population are targeted for immunization coverage. Infant and child participants' immunization records are entered into the Statewide Immunization Information System, and the participant is given a computer-generated list of the individual's shot history and shots due. Individuals listed with any post-due shots are referred to their immunization provider.

Nutritious Supplemental Foods

WIC provides highly nutritious supplemental foods that are rich in protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. These are key nutrients commonly lacking in the diets of the WIC target population.

In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines, WIC strongly encourages and provides support for breastfeeding. WIC recognizes that breastfeeding is the best method of infant feeding and nurturing. However, formula-fed infants may receive the WIC contract brand of iron-fortified formula for the first year of life.

Baby FoodBeginning at six months of age, infants may also receive iron-fortified infant cereal and baby fruits and vegetables. Amounts of the formula provided per month will decrease as these complementary foods are added. Exclusively breastfed infants will also receive strained baby meats. Non-contract and special formulas are available with a doctor's prescription and other appropriate documentation.

How Does WIC Work?

Nutrition Certification

Adult participants and/or child/infant participants with their parent or caregiver meet with a healthcare professional every six months to review their dietary habits and any medical conditions. Their nutritional status is evaluated through a health history provided by the participant or parent/guardian, a brief dietary assessment, and discussion. Based on this evaluation, mutually agreed upon goals for improvement are set.

Nutrition Counseling/Education. WIC provides nutrition education and counseling to pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children. The main focus of the nutrition education program is prevention and improvement of the health status. Individuals learn about their specific nutritional needs and the nutrients necessary during pregnancy and lactation. New mothers receive information and guidance in feeding the infant and preschooler through all stages of development.

Counseling is also targeted toward identified nutritional issues such as anemia, growth problems, inappropriate weight in pregnancy, special feeding programs, etc. Every effort is made to provide culturally appropriate counseling in the participant's own language.

Supplemental Foods

WIC participants receive specified foods prescribed to meet their individual needs. WIC foods are high in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.

Improved Access to Health Care Services

The WIC program encourages earlier and more frequent utilization of other health care systems. It refers and coordinates with other services, such as immunizations and well-child clinics, prenatal programs, drug and alcohol treatment programs, Medicaid, etc., to assist participants in knowing where and how to obtain health care. Information and referrals for other social services are made routinely.

Pregnancy Verification

A nurse is available on site to offer a pregnancy test if pregnancy verification is needed.
This service is offered during nursing walk-in clinics on
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
 9:00 - 10:00 am and 1:00 - 4:00 pm  
The cost is $7.

Kids at play
Fitness Opportunities

Fitness opportunities are available for children ages three through third grade. For more information, visit the Wayne County Family & Children First Council's website for the Child Nutrition and Fitness Services Directory.