Benefits of WIC

happy child eating

WIC staff across Maine pride themselves in meeting participants where they are by providing timely support in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. Participants can expect to learn about health and nutrition topics that are important to their family, breastfeeding and chestfeeding support and supplies, and food benefits via an eWIC card to purchase healthy foods at participating grocery stores. Fruits and vegetables benefits can also be used at local farms and Farmers Markets using the Bnft app. Each summer, participants also receive additional funds that can be spent with farmers to purchase locally grown produce. If WIC staff cannot answer your questions or you need more information about other services, they can connect you with additional community resources.

Nutrition Education

Nutrition Education is an important part of every WIC appointment. WIC staff are here to help you learn about healthy eating habits, make long- and short-term goals for your family’s health, and answer your nutrition questions! In addition to counseling, nutrition educators work to create a personalized food prescription that fits each person’s needs.

Food Benefits

WIC foods are provided to help meet the nutrition needs of participants. Foods include iron-fortified breakfast cereal, 100% juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, canned fish, soy-based beverage, tofu, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, infant cereal, jarred infant fruits, vegetables and meats and infant formula as needed to meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants. In the summer, additional benefits are given for locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables from Maine farmers.

WIC participants receive food benefits via an eWIC card to purchase specific foods each month that are designed to supplement their diets with specific nutrients that benefit WIC's target population.

Breastfeeding & Chestfeeding Support

WIC encourages new parents to breast or chestfeed for the first six months of their child’s life and beyond! Human milk is the best food for a baby and WIC is committed to helping parents be successful with their infant feeding journey. Many parents have questions about breastfeeding and chestfeeding. WIC can give you helpful information on the benefits of human milk by discussing:

  • Any questions and concerns you have about breastfeeding or chestfeeding
  • How to get your family and friends engaged in your decision to breastfeed or chestfeed
  • Community resources for breastfeeding and chestfeeding support
  • How to maintain your breastfeeding or chestfeeding goals when you will return to work or school.

In addition to support from your counselors, WIC also offers breastfeeding peer counselors, breastfeeding/chestfeeding supplies including manual and electric breast pumps, and enhanced food benefits for nursing parents.

Referrals

WIC benefits don't stop at nutrition and breastfeeding support. WIC staff can connect you with helpful resources in your community to meet your family's needs. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Dental services
  • Healthcare providers
  • Maine Families
  • Head Start
  • Heating assistance
  • DHHS programs

We've also compiled a list of helpful websites for your family.

View more Child Health Referral Resources (PDF)