Profile of WIC Children   (link)

"The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and access to health care to pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five. Since its inception in the early 1970’s, the program has received fairly widespread support and it has grown in size to serve 7.4 million participants in FY98 at an annual cost of around $4 billion.

Just over half of the participants (51.4 percent) are children between the ages of 1 and 5..."

This report provides useful statistics on the status of children receiving WIC benefits. The following highlights are from the online brief:

  • The average age of their mothers at the time of the children’s birth was 25, but 7.5 percent had mothers who were young teenagers (under 18) at the time.

  • Nearly a third of their mothers smoked cigarettes during the pregnancy.

  • Around 12 percent of the children were low birthweight.

  • Two-fifths were breastfed, in most cases for less than six months.

  • Most (54 percent) live in poverty, and 25 percent are extremely poor (income under 50 percent of the federal poverty level).

  • Many receive AFDC/TANF (43 percent) or food stamps (60 percent), and nearly a tenth live in subsidized housing.

  • Half live in a household headed by a married couple.

  • Nearly all have medical insurance, primarily Medicaid.

Added 06/27/2012 by tpollak, Modified 11/27/2013 by sarya


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