WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, is a nutrition program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture to assist families in obtaining healthy foods.
The WIC Program promotes healthy habits and healthy families.
- Breastfeed your baby
- Eat more fiber
- Lower the fat
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Eat more whole grains
- Drink less juice and sweetened beverages
- Make family meals matter
To help participants practice these habits, WIC provides basic nutritious foods to eligible pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, as well as infants and children. These foods are rich in protein, iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamins.
Participants use an electronic benefit transfer system (eWIC) to access food benefits and cash-value vouchers (for fruits and vegetables) at authorized retail grocery stores and pharmacies. Participants are issued an NC eWIC card at their initial visit. In some cases, special formulas are distributed directly to the participant from the WIC local agency.
Foods for Infants (Birth-12 Months)
The Program strongly encourages and provides support for breastfeeding. It recognizes that breastfeeding is the best method of infant feeding and nurturing. However, formula-fed infants receive the WIC contract standard milk- and soy-based iron-fortified infant formula for the first year of life. Beginning at six months of age, infants may also receive iron-fortified infant cereal, and infant fruits and vegetables. Infants who are fully breastfed also receive infant meats.
In some cases, infants may require a formula other than the WIC contract standard milk- or soy-based formulas. Before a WIC agency can issue any formula other than the contract standard milk- or soy-based formula, the participant must obtain a completed prescription from a physician or health care provider. However, please note that the only standard milk- or soy-based formulas provided by the NC WIC Program are those on the current contract; other standard brands are not provided.
- Mother’s Breastmilk
- Infant Formula
- Infant Cereal
- Infant Fruits and Vegetables
- Infant Meats (for fully breastfed infants only)
- Foods for Women and Children
Women and children (one to five years of age) participating in WIC receive food instruments and cash-value vouchers for a variety of healthy foods. The choices may include whole-grain cereal and bread, brown rice, whole-wheat and soft-corn tortillas; milk; cheese, or tofu; eggs; peanut butter; dried or canned beans, peas, or lentils; fruit or vegetable juices; and fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned). Women who exclusively breastfeed their babies receive larger quantities of foods as well as canned tuna or salmon. Special formulas or nutritional supplements are also available to women and children participants with certain medical conditions. Before a WIC agency can issue any formula or nutritional supplement, the participant must obtain a prescription from a physician or health care provider.
- Whole-grain Bread, Brown Rice, Whole-wheat and Soft-corn Tortillas
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Soy-Based Beverage
- Dried or Canned Beans, Peas and Lentils
- Peanut Butter
Additional Foods for Women Who Exclusively Breastfeed
- Larger quantities of the foods listed above
- Chunk-light tuna or salmon
Nutrition education is a major benefit of the Program and is provided to all adults and, whenever possible, to children directly. The goals of nutrition education are:
- To teach about the relationship between nutrition, physical activity, and good health
- To improve the eating and physical activity habits as they relate to the participant’s nutritional risk
- To promote optimal use of the WIC Program’s supplemental foods, and other nutritious foods
- To provide nutrition education that is appropriate to an individual’s age, educational background, household situation, language, cultural and ethnic preferences, and nutritional needs
Referrals for Health Care
WIC receives referrals from private and public health care providers and provides referrals as needed for health and social services. Referrals from WIC include immunizations and substance abuse counseling and treatment. WIC encourages persons already receiving medical services to remain under their physicians' care. It also encourages individuals not receiving medical care to seek and maintain appropriate care.
Breastfeeding Promotion and Support
Breastfeeding promotion and support are an integral part of the WIC Program. WIC strives to increase the initiation, duration, and exclusivity of breastfeeding among women enrolled in the Program. All WIC agencies have trained personnel ready to assist mothers in making informed decisions about their infant feeding choice. WIC also instructs mothers in the basics of breastfeeding. Many WIC agencies have breastfeeding peer counselor support programs that provide mother-to-mother counseling. In addition, all local WIC agencies provide breastfeeding aids such as manual and electric breast pumps. WIC offers a food package for women who exclusively breastfeed their babies. This food package adds tuna or salmon in cans or pouches, as well as additional amounts of whole grains, cereal, milk, cheese, juice, peanut butter, beans, peas, and lentils.
WIC Prescreening Tool
WIC Income Guidelines
Call the Richmond County WIC office to make an appointment:
For your appointment you will need to bring:
- Proof of identification (for all individuals applying for WIC)
- Proof of income (for all household members with income)
- Proof of residence (where you live)
Examples of what you will need to bring:
Identification: (Only one is needed) - Valid driver's license, Social Security card, current work/school ID, current Medicaid card, current military ID, birth certificate, immunization record, and for infants: hospital crib card, ID bracelet, or mother’s verification of facts form.
Residence (where you live): (Only one is needed) - Current utility bill, valid driver’s license, current Medicaid card (or presumptive eligibility form), bank statement, current rental or mortgage receipts, Division of Motor Vehicle ID card.
Income: Current paycheck stubs, if self-employed your recent tax return or history of earnings for the past twelve months, current Medicaid card, a letter of certification for the NC Food and Nutrition Services, a letter from your employer stating gross income and frequency of pay, unemployment letter/notice.
To qualify for WIC, applicants must be both income eligible and have an identified medical/nutritional risk factor. These criteria will be assessed when you apply for WIC.
With some exceptions, each person applying for WIC must be physically present at the time of application at the local WIC office.
The North Carolina WIC Program uses an electronic benefit transfer system (eWIC) for WIC benefit issuance. The Local WIC Agency issues the WIC food benefits for a participant into an electronic benefit account. Families then use their eWIC card and PIN to access their food benefits at the grocery store.
To check your WIC food benefit balance, set your PIN or replace your eWIC card:
- Login to www.mybnft.com
- Download the Bnft® app on your smartphone
- Learn more about the Bnft® mobile app (MP4; Requires an MP4 player, such as VLC media player)
- Bnft® App Handout English
- Bnft® App Handout Spanish
- Call eWIC Customer Service toll free: 1-844-230-0813
Using Your North Carolina eWIC Card Brochure (PDF, 385 KB)
Un Folleto de Use su Tarjeta eWIC de Carolina del Norte (PDF, 373 KB)
NC WIC Program Shopping Guide English (PDF, 2.85 MB)
NC WIC Program Shopping Guide Spanish (PDF, 2.77 MB)
Questions about eWIC? Please contact us at (910)997-8313