Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Sheila Hogan said today a program to support mothers and children is available and ready to help Montanans who may need food assistance, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides healthy food and nutrition services to 15,000 moms and children each month, and DPHHS believes that many more are eligible due to the current financial strain many families are under due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
“Local WIC agencies across Montana are accepting new families and are eager to help those who could benefit from the program,” Hogan said.
At this time, WIC agencies are completing appointments over the phone for new, past and current participants. WIC has also recently updated the foods eligible on the program to provide more flexibility at the store.
In addition to food, the program also provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and a community of support from both experts and peers to thousands of moms and children monthly. Montana WIC has the ability to serve additional families who qualify.
“If you’re pregnant, a caregiver, or a new mom with children under 5, you can get the right personalized support for you and your family,” Hogan said. “This program is designed to help families and young children during an important time in growth and development.”
Households that are enrolled in the following programs automatically meet income eligibility for WIC:
Healthy Montana Kids Plus (HMK-Plus) and Medicaid.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
National School Lunch Program (free and reduced-price meals).
Current WIC recipients can check their benefits by using the WICShopper application, calling the number on the back of their card, or asking their clinic staff or store staff to provide them a benefit balance.
More information about WIC, including specific income guidelines, is available online at wic.mt.govor by calling 1-800-433-4298. A family of four with household annual income of $47,638 would be income-eligible.
Local clinic information is at signupwic.com. The WIC state office can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling toll-free 800-433-4298. A WIC FAQ for common questions about the program is also available.