WIC celebrates 40 years of strengthening Illinois families
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[April 26, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois
Department of Human Services is celebrating the 40th anniversary of
the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and
Children, commonly known as WIC. As the nation's public health
nutrition program, WIC provides families with the knowledge and
skills necessary to make healthful choices, which they can carry
with them for a lifetime.
"I applaud the WIC program in their efforts to promote healthy
lifestyles and for making a true difference every day in the lives
of women, infants and children in Illinois," said IDHS Secretary
Michelle R.B. Saddler.
WIC aims to improve the health of
low-income women, infants and children by providing supplemental
nutritious foods, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding
promotion and support, health screenings, and referrals to eligible
Nearly 40 percent of all babies born in Illinois are WIC
participants, and research shows that WIC has been successful in the
reduction of fetal deaths, infant mortality, low birth weight rates
and iron-deficiency anemia in children and increased immunization
In addition, women in Illinois who participate in the
Breastfeeding Peer Counselor program offered by WIC tend to have
higher rates of breastfeeding initiation (81.2 percent) and
one-month duration rates (73 percent) than those who do not
participate in the program (61.4 percent and 61.3 percent,
respectively). Women who participate in WIC while pregnant also have
lower Medicaid costs than those who do not participate.
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As a result of these outcomes, the health of women, infants
and children has been improved, infant mortality has decreased,
and Medicaid expenditures have been reduced.
Since its beginnings, the WIC program has been striving to meet
the needs of its participants and has served as a long-standing and
important community nutrition program that will continue to serve
the needs of its population.
To learn more about the WIC program or to see if you may qualify,
or your local WIC office.
Illinois Department of Human
file received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information]