Nutrition Assistance for Pregnant Women
WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a federal nutrition program administered by the state that provides low-income women and their children up to the age of five with breastfeeding support, nutrition education, nutrition counseling, health care referrals, and monthly vouchers to purchase nutritional food.
In collaboration with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Immigrant Family Resource Program (IFRP) has a component that specifically assists Arab, Asian, and African families in accessing WIC benefits. Through community outreach, education, and translation and interpretation services, this collaboration helps to reduce the barriers that exist between these communities and accessing WIC benefits. IFRP collaborates with six partner organizations throughout the Chicago metropolitan area:
Arab American Family Services
Chinese American Service League
Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services
Korean American Community Services
Muslim Women Resource Center
South-East Asia Center
United African Organization
1. Women and children must be Illinois residents.
2. There are NO immigration restrictions for WIC. Any woman or child, regardless of immigration status, may qualify.
3. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding up to the child’s first birthday, and postpartum (up to six months after your pregnancy has ended) are eligible.
4. Children are eligible for WIC benefits until they turn five years old.
5. Women and children must be considered to have a health or nutrition risk. These risks include but are not limited to being underweight, having anemia or living with a poor diet. You can be screened for all WIC accepted nutrition risks at your nearest WIC clinic.
6. Your household income must be within the income limits (185% of the federal poverty level). To learn more about eligibility for yourself, a client, or someone you know, please visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website for the most current income guidelines.
How to Apply for WIC Benefits
You can receive free assistance in applying for WIC benefits by calling or visiting an Immigrant Family Resource Program provider near you, or contact a WIC office near you using the WIC office locator. You can also call the state WIC Office at 217-782-2166 to find a WIC clinic. If you would like to learn more about eligibility requirements for yourself, someone you know, or a client, visit the Illinois WIC website. You will need to go to a WIC clinic to fill out an application and be screened for nutrition risks if your primary care physician is unable to screen you.
Materials to Bring when Applying
*Proof of income, which can be your most recent pay stub so that you can prove that you are within the income limits.
*Proof of Illinois residency, which can be an identification card, or if not available, a utility bill or piece of mail with your name and home address.
Receiving WIC benefits will NOT hurt your immigration status or your application for permanent residency or citizenship. The Immigration and Naturalization Services announced in 1999 that as long as immigrants only receive benefits for which they are eligible receiving food benefits will not affect their immigration status.