Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The mission of WIC is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition education, and referrals to health care and other social services. WIC is based on the premise that early intervention programs during critical times of growth and development can help prevent medical and developmental problems.
WIC is one of the central components of the Nation's food assistance and nutrition
system serving about 8 million participants per month, including almost half of all infants born in the United States. Federal program costs totaled $5.0 billion in fiscal 2005. WIC the country's third-largest food assistance program in terms of total expenditures.