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Idaho WIC raises annual income threshold

Idaho's Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is raising its household income eligibility limits to offset cost of living increases.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) announced Tuesday it is increasing the household income eligibility limits for Idaho's Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). 

The review and adjustment for WIC happens each year, with the new income guidelines going into effect July 1. IDHW said the income threshold raise hopes to offset increased cost of living. 

WIC provides nutritious foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, at no cost for qualifying families. The adjusted income guidelines are in effect for a full year, or until June 30, 2023.

There are a number of requirements to be eligible for the WIC program, designed for pregnant or breastfeeding woman and woman who were recently pregnant or have a child under the age of 5. Individuals must live in Idaho and have a need for help through WIC foods and nutrition counseling. 

On top of supplemental foods and nutrition counseling, WIC services also include health screenings, breastfeeding information and support and assistance from dietitians.

According to IDHW, eligibility also requires a low-to-moderate income. Gross income for applicants must be at or below 185% of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. 

Under the old WIC guidelines, a family of three could have earned up to $40,626 annually, for example. The new guidelines allow the same family to earn up to $42,606 annually. 

On average, WIC enrollees receive $57 of healthy foods each month. IDHW said the average increased by $12 from the year prior following a federal increase to fresh fruits and vegetables' monthly benefit. 

Those receiving Medicaid, SNAP, TANF or CHIP and in WIC's served categories are automatically income-eligible for WIC. Around 30,000 Idahoans receive WIC assistance each month.

WIC's new income eligibility guidelines are included below. IDHW said one pregnant woman counts as two household members:

Credit: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW)

For more information on Idaho WIC, including a sign up link for WIC in your area, is available by clicking here.

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