Frequently Asked Questions

Missouri WIC

What is WIC?
Who qualifies for WIC and how do you qualify for WIC?
How can I find a WIC Agency close to me?
What food can I get from WIC?
If I leave the state, how will I find a WIC clinic?
What is a WIC vendor?
How do I become a WIC vendor?
Why are certain foods on WIC and other foods are not on WIC?
How do I file a complaint about the WIC clinic in my area?
I am a physician. How do I refer my patients to WIC?
How can I get information on the Food Stamp Program?
Will I have to pay to participate in WIC?
Will WIC give me all of the food my baby and I need?
Why will some stores take WIC checks for items that other stores will not?
Can men receive WIC benefits?
Does WIC offer breast pumps?

What is WIC?
WIC is a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children. WIC helps to prevent health problems and improve the health status of participants through good nutrition. The WIC Program supplements the diets of qualified participants with nutritious food items by issuing a food "prescription."

Who qualifies for WIC and how do you qualify for WIC?

All women, infants, and children must meet income guidelines and medical criteria to qualify for WIC. Contact 1-800-TEL LINK to find the nearest WIC agency.

How can I find a WIC Agency close to me?
One of the easiest ways to find a WIC Agency in your area is to call 1-800-TEL-LINK (1-800-835-5465). Many WIC programs are in the local health department, so you may also contact your local health department at the number listed for them in the telephone book. Or you can use or interactive Missouri map to find services near you.

What food can I get from WIC?
WIC food prescriptions are based on the type of participant (woman, infant, or child). Nutritionists tailor the food prescription for each individual.

If I leave the state, how will I find a WIC clinic?
Check USDA's WIC state agencies listing or contact us to obtain the telephone number of WIC programs in other states.

What is a WIC vendor?
A WIC vendor is a grocery store or pharmacy that has been approved by the WIC program to accept WIC food instruments for WIC-approved foods. Check our Grocery Stores page for additional information.

How do I become a WIC vendor?
Grocery stores and pharmacies interested in applying may check our Grocery Stores page or contact us to request a WIC vendor application. The state agency reviews each application received against established selection criteria. Applications that meet the selection criteria will be offered a contract. The WIC vendor must also be inspected on-site by WIC staff to finalize the application process.

Why are certain foods on WIC and other foods are not on WIC?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) determines the basic nutrient guidelines that the Missouri WIC program follows in food selection. All foods selected must meet those requirements. The Missouri WIC program also uses cost, availability, and other similar criteria to select foods. Foods selected are low in sugar and salt and are good sources of vitamins A, C, and D, iron, protein, and calcium. Visit the WIC approved foods list to find out more.

How do I file a complaint about the WIC clinic in my area?
Contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

I am a physician. How do I refer my patients to WIC?
Use the WIC Medical Referral form. These forms are available to you at no cost. To request forms contact us. WIC can provide you with a listing of agencies in your area that you may give to patients you think would qualify for our program. Or you can give your patients the Tel-Link toll-free number 1-800-TEL-LINK (835-5465) so that they can be directed to the WIC agency in their area. Contact us for more information about referring patients to WIC.

How can I get information on the Food Stamp Program?
If you are a WIC participant or WIC applicant, your local WIC program can tell you where to find the Family Services office where you can apply for Food Stamps in your community. Visit the state Food Stamps website or you can call the state Food Stamps office at 1-800-392-1261.

Will I have to pay to participate in WIC?
No, participants do not have to pay any money to participate in the WIC program.

Will WIC give me all of the food my baby and I need?
No, WIC will not provide all of the foods needed. WIC foods are intended to supplement the diet. The food packages approved for use in the Missouri WIC program are designed to help meet infants' developmental needs and current pediatric feeding recommendations, and to complement the eating patterns of preschool children. WIC foods also supplement the special requirements of pregnant and breastfeeding women and help to re-supply the nutrient stores women used during pregnancy.

Why will some stores take WIC checks for items that other stores will not?
WIC vendors must allow individuals to purchase all WIC-approved products prescribed on the WIC food instrument. However, available foods vary by vendor. If a vendor does not allow a WIC participant to purchase a WIC-approved food that is stocked in the store, contact us to report this to the WIC Program.

Can men receive WIC benefits?
Although adult men do not receive a food prescription for themselves from WIC, they receive many other benefits. The WIC program was developed to meet the needs of pregnant women, infants, and children in the critical growth years of fetal development and early childhood. WIC benefits, by design of the program, are provided only to pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding women, infants, and children under the age of five. A man with any of these participants in his family benefits from the support the nutritious foods and nutrition education offers his family. Men can and are encouraged to participate in nutrition education, family nutrition counseling, shopping for WIC products, referrals to health care, and other programs that may benefit their families. Find out more about Men and Nutrition on this website.

Does WIC offer breast pumps?
All local WIC providers offer a variety of breast pumps, which are provided to post partum moms after the local WIC provider has completed an assessment to determine which breast pump is appropriate for her.