What is WIC?

WIC is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) designed to help you and your family build healthy eating and living habits that will last a lifetime. It helps to promote and maintain the health and well-being of nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children. WIC provides supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition and breastfeeding information, and referral to other health and nutrition services. WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding.



 Who is Eligible for WIC?

To be eligible for WIC benefits, a person must meet the following requirements:

  • be a pregnant, breastfeeding or new mother;
  • be an infant up to age one; or be a child up to age 5; and
  • be a resident of Illinois; and
  • be income eligible and
  • have a health or nutrition need.

WIC Income Guidelines

WIC income eligibility is based on 185% of US Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines.

  • The WIC Program uses the same gross income criteria as free and reduced-price school lunches.   
  • Many working families qualify.   
  • Individuals who participate in other programs such as Medicaid, Food Stamps, TANF may automatically be income eligible.

WIC staff will determine income eligibility during your appointment.


Illinois WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines
(Effective from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010)

  Annual Monthly Twice-Monthly Bi-Weekly Weekly
1 20,036 1,670 835 771 386
2 26,955 2,247 1,124 1,037 519
3 33,874 2,823 1,412 1,303 652
4 40,793 3,400 1,700 1,569 785
5 47,712 3,976 1,988 1,836 918
6 54,631 4,553 2,277 2,102 1,051
7 61,550 5,130 2,565 2,368 1,184
8 68,469 5,706 2,853 2,634 1,317
Each Add'l Member Add +6,919 +577 +289 +267 +134


Según las directrices de elegibilidad para
el programa WIC de Illinois

(Vigentes desde el 1 de julio de 2009 al 30 de junio de 2010)

Unidad Familiar
Anual Mensual Dos veces
al mes
Dos veces
 a la semana
1 20,036 1,670 835 771 386
2 26,955 2,247 1,124 1,037 519
3 33,847 2,823 1,412 1,303 652
4 40,793 3,400 1,700 1,569 785
5 47,712 3,976 1,988 1,836 918
6 54,631 4,553 2,277 2,102 1,015
7 61,550 5,130 2,565 2,368 1,184
8 68,469 5,706 2,853 2,634 1,317
Cada persona adicional +6,919 +577 +289 +267 +134

What happens at a clinic visit?

The following information is required to be reviewed at the appointment:

  • Birth certificate or hospital footprints for infants and/or children
  • Proof of income - two recent wage stubs, Public Aid Card, Income Tax
  • Proof of address - rent receipt, utility bill, etc.
  • Proof of pregnancy - a doctor's statement or pregnancy test from Family Planning.
  • Bring eligible child/children scheduled for WIC clinic

Other information to bring:

  • Social Security Card 
  • Immunization Records
  • WIC I.D. card if available

The above information is reviewed, along with the participants health history. A health screening is performed on each participant. From there, information is plotted on growth charts and evaluated individually to determine WIC eligibility. Participants are then counseled by a health professional. Eating habits are discussed and food histories are evaluated. At that time, each participant is informed of their eligibility and WIC Program responsibilities

Benefits Received by WIC Participants

All participants receive:

  • Screening for nutrition and health needs. 
  • Information on how to use WIC foods to improve health.
  • Coupons to buy foods that help keep you and your children healthy and strong.
  • Referrals to doctors, dentists, and programs like Food Stamps, Healthy Start and Head Start.
  • WIC foods.
  • Information on healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding support or infant formula.
  • Immunization referrals.
  • Parents/caregivers receive information on taking care of babies.


Breastfeeding Support

Clients receive encouragement and instruction in breastfeeding. In many cases, breastfeeding women are provided breast pumps free of charge. WIC helps clients learn why breastfeeding is the best start for their baby, how to breastfeed while still working, Dad’s role in supporting breastfeeding, tips for teens who breastfeed, how to pump and store breast milk, and much more.

Nutritious Foods

WIC provides coupons each month which are taken to grocery stores and used to buy nutritious foods. WIC foods include iron-fortified infant formula and infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C–rich fruit and vegetable juice, milk, eggs, cheese, beans, and peanut butter. Different food packages are issued to different clients. For example, mothers who are totally breastfeeding their babies without formula are issued tuna and carrots in addition to other foods

Baby Formula Information for Participants

WIC currently provides only the following Enfamil Lipil baby formulas. No regular Similac or Good Start formulas will be given.

  • ENFAMIL LIPIL (a milk-based formula)
  • ENFAMIL PROSOBEE LIPIL (a soy-based, milk-free, formula)
  • ENFAMIL A.R. LIPIL (a milk-based for babies who spit up frequently)
  • ENFAMIL GENTLE EASE LIPIL (a milk-based for babies with fussiness or gas)

Nutrition Education

Clients receive individual nutrition counseling and nutrition classes. Many clinics offer classes especially for children. Men who have family members participating in the program are welcome to attend nutrition classes.

Some of the topics clients can learn about:

  • Eating healthfully during pregnancy for mom and baby 
  • Infant and child nutrition — healthy foods for happy children, picky eaters, watching your child’s weight, and lots more
  • How to get the most out of their food dollars
  • The importance of childhood immunizations
  • Tips for pregnant teens
  • Common infant problems, such as colic, constipation, and crying

For more information on Nutrition please visit:



WIC refers clients to a variety of health and social services agencies and programs. WIC staff can help clients find these services. Some examples are:

  • Medicaid
  • Food Stamps
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Child health insurance
  • Family planning
  • Prenatal care
  • Medical and dental services
  • Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
  • Food Pantries

Where Can I Apply

East Side Health District Offers WIC at 4 different locations. Please call the nearest location for an appointment.

East Side Health District-East St. Louis
638 N 20th Street
East St. Louis, IL 62205
Fax: 618-874-4737
Open Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm

East Side Health District- Cahokia
1274 Camp Jackson Road (Novo Plaza)
Cahokia, IL 62206
Fax: 618-337-1902
Open Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm

East Side Health District- Washington Park
5540 Bunkum Road
Washington Park, IL 62204
Fax: 618-337-1902
Open Mon & Tue 8:00am-4:30pm

East Side Health District- Fairmont City
2568 N 41st Street
Fairmont City, IL 62201
Fax: 618-482-4806
Open Wed & Thu 8:00am-4:30pm, Fri: 1:00pm-4:30pm

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