ALABAMA (WHNT) — The high cost of feeding a family these days is lost on no one; now, a recent change in the WIC program for Alabamians could help those who rely on those funds to put food on the table.

On May 1, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced the income guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (better known as WIC) have increased, meaning more families could qualify for assistance.

WIC is open to participants with incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Check the table below to see if your family may qualify:

2$36,482 $702
Alabama Dept. of Public Health

*Each unborn infant counts as one in the family size.
*You can find additional family sizes here.

All WIC participants must have both a limited income and a nutritional need. Families who receive Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) already meet the income qualifications for WIC.

Officials say even families who don’t qualify for those programs could still be eligible for WIC because of the higher income limits.

“WIC works with families to meet nutrition goals and provides healthy foods to support optimal growth and development,” said Allison Hatchett, Alabama WIC Director. “Nutritious foods help pregnant women have healthy babies and help children grow to become healthy adults. Alabama’s WIC Program understands the struggles many families face to establish healthy eating habits, and WIC is here to help women, infants, and children in Alabama.”

If you are a woman who is pregnant, has had a baby within the past six months, or are currently breastfeeding; or if you are the parent or guardian of a child up to age 5, you can apply at your local county health department or WIC agency to apply.

WIC participants can receive food benefits for each qualifying family member. Increased cash value benefits are available to purchase fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, with each child receiving $25 a month, pregnant and postpartum women receiving $44 a month, and breastfeeding women receiving $49 a month. In addition to nutritious food benefits, WIC participants receive free nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals.

Alabama’s WIC Program also provides electronic food benefits, making your shopping experience easier, too.

You can find everything you need to know about WIC here or call the statewide toll-free line at 1-888-942-4673 (1-888-WIC-HOPE).