WIC Service Locations
There are many WIC locations found throughout the United States. As a federal program, WIC is available to needy families in the U.S., no matter where in the country they live. Benefits are also offered in U.S. territories like Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands. Even Indian Tribal Organizations throughout the country have at least one WIC office.
WIC services can be found at several different types of locations. They are not limited to WIC office headquarters. These other locations include hospitals, churches, community centers and non-profit organizations. Depending on the WIC location, however, participants might receive different degrees of service. While independent WIC offices usually offer a full range of services, churches and community centers may not have all the resources to do the same. Continue reading below to learn about the multiple locations where WIC services are offered.
Services Offered at WIC Locations
Multiple services are offered at WIC locations. The program’s primary mission is to improve the health of mothers and children. This is accomplished through the several different benefits that are offered at these locations. First, many WIC office locations provide food packages to qualifying families in which they are allowed to purchase certain healthy foods to supplement their diets. Recipients are awarded a monthly allowance in the form of vouchers or an EBT card to purchase the food.
Food is not the only service that the WIC department provides. Many WIC centers also offer support and education for breastfeeding women. They offer classes, counseling and coaching all for free. Participants are also given access to numerous resources to improve their health and the health of their children. WIC offices provide health and immunization screenings, referrals for substance abuse programs, nutrition and food preparation education.
Note: Learn more about WIC services by downloading our in-depth WIC guide.
WIC offices provide comprehensive WIC services to women and children. These services encompass health screenings and tests, numerous nutrition education resources and classes, breastfeeding assistance and support, access to health care and other community resources. WIC services also include access to nutritionists, consultants and other knowledgeable professionals. Large WIC offices in heavily populated cities are likely to offer appointment times and services Monday through Friday, from morning to evening. Some even offer extended and weekend hours. Standalone WIC office locations are ideal for any applicant if there is one nearby. If not, the other locations discussed in the following sections can be equally as useful.
Besides being available at individual WIC offices, services can be found at state health department buildings. There is at least one state health department located in every state. WIC at health department buildings offers assistance and coaching straight for the source, as WIC is a product of the U.S. Department of Health. WIC agencies in state health department offices offer appointment times for WIC applicants, health screenings and plenty of nutrition resources, activities, tools and assistance from health professionals. Because health departments work on multiple health projects, WIC office hours may be limited in certain locations.
Hospitals often come up when applicants search for the nearest WIC office. Hospitals possess the capacity and resources to perform accurate measurements and blood tests required for qualification into the WIC program. In addition, pregnant women have the added benefit of receiving nearby WIC services and support after giving birth. Hospitals that contract with WIC are able to provide the same comprehensive services that WIC offices and clinics do, such as provide nutrient-rich foods, coach soon-to-be mothers on proper nutrition, infant care and breastfeeding.
WIC offices and clinics can also be found in many community centers. The benefit of community centers is that they can better serve the needs of their particular local community. For example, one community may require more nutrition knowledge. Thus, while a local WIC office may provide other assistance benefits, the community center can focus more efforts and funding toward nutrition education instead of tools such as breast pumps. Alternatively, a center can provide more resources, such as support groups and phone apps for breastfeeding women.
Learn more about the assistance available at community centers by downloading our comprehensive guide.
WIC office locations are also found within many Indian nations and tribes throughout the United States. Tribes partner with the U.S. Department of Health to be able to service pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as infants and young children. The same services that are offered outside of reservations and tribal boundaries are offered and supplied within the boundaries. These include health screenings, breastfeeding support and education, access to nutrient-rich foods, health education and referrals to health care providers and other community resources. There often many WIC offices within tribal areas for applicants to apply at and get resources from.
Churches also partner with the U.S. Department of Health to provide WIC services to families. Because churches often assist multiple charities and organizations, they cannot provide comprehensive care or offer appointments as much as an independent WIC office can. However, they do offer the same food services and support that the nearest WIC office does.
Non-profit organizations offer many benefits and services to needy families and individuals in addition to supplementing WIC department services. Some Salvation Army locations, for example, provide toys for children as long as guardians have proof of their participation in WIC. Some Salvation Army WIC locations also conduct health screenings and take application appointments on specific days or during certain times each week. It is essential to check with your local Salvation Army for the dates and times they are open and can conduct a WIC interview.
How to Find A WIC Office Location Near You
Finding a WIC office is simple wherever you live. There are multiple WIC office locations in every U.S. state in addition to American Samoa and Puerto Rico. You can easily find an office online. You can begin your search on your state’s official WIC website. Most states provide a list of the numerous WIC office locations that are spread out through the state. More populated states like California even categorize locations by county. Populous states have many more agency locations and resources.
Visiting a WIC Office
It is important to know the hours of operation of a WIC office before visiting. Depending the location and the types of services offered, hours can vary widely from one WIC agency location to the next. Some WIC offices are open Monday through Friday during regular business hours (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) while others are only open at certain times on specific days. For example, some centers in Minnesota are open only Mondays and Wednesdays or every third Thursday. Some locations still are only open once per month. As they are government centers, it is important to keep in mind that local WIC offices are typically closed on all government holidays.