Having a baby is an exciting time – and then the excitement starts to hit your bank account. Those diapers, wipes, and baby food really add up! But, did you know that if you’re on a limited income, there are resources available that can provide some support? The WIC (Women, Infants, Children) Program is a part of our Public Health Department and provides nutritious foods to supplement a healthy diet. Unfortunately, there are some Mecklenburg County residents who could take advantage of these benefits but don’t know it! So, let’s debunk some of the misinformation out there.
1 – I haven’t had my baby yet, so I don’t need WIC
Likely false. Most people think that WIC benefits aren’t available past infancy. So, you may be surprised to discover that those who are eligible can actually take advantage of benefits from the beginning of pregnancy until their child is 5 years old. That’s almost five years of money to help support your family as your child is growing!
2 – I have SNAP/EBT which is the same thing, so I’m not eligible for WIC benefits
Wrong! SNAP/EBT is completely different from WIC. And actually, if you’re eligible for Medicaid and SNAP/EBT that means you’re already income eligible! You’ll still need to be screened by our team, but if you qualify for WIC you can stack your benefits. With WIC alone you’ll save $100-150 a month so you definitely don’t want to miss the opportunity to take advantage of both resources.
3 – Me and my baby have special dietary needs, so WIC won’t work for us
Not true! WIC offers different packages for people with different needs. So, if you’re a pregnant mom who’s also vegetarian or vegan – don’t worry! We’ve got a WIC package for that, and there are different packages available whether you’re breastfeeding, formula-feeding, or even somewhere in the middle. Prescription and specialty formulas are available AND breastfeeding mothers may be eligible for a free breast pump if they’re participating in WIC. There’s something for everyone.
4 – Getting approved for WIC benefits is a long, complicated process
Not at all. You can visit our office and get approved for WIC benefits the same day. The application process is short and you don’t have to wait to hear back from our team. What will hold up your application? Not bringing the right documents to your appointment – check the requirements for documentation before you come in!
5 – WIC appointments are only available during regular business hours
Unlikely. We understand that scheduling an appointment during regular business hours can be difficult, so we offer a couple of options to help with that, so be sure to check our website. There are evening appointments available a few days a week at specific offices and we take walk-in appointments during select hours at a couple of our locations. Though each person applying for WIC normally needs to be present for their appointment, there are limited exceptions in which we allow a caretaker or proxy to attend on behalf of the mother. You can call our office to learn more about the details.
Know someone who could benefit from WIC? Help us spread the word and have them call our appointment line at 704-336-6500 or visit our website. Our team is here to serve!