More families in Alabama qualify for WIC thanks to updated federal poverty guidelines

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The 2016 Income Eligibility Guidelines for Women, Infants and Children, commonly known as WIC, are out. The good news is more Alabama families may be eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program.

Madison County County Health Officer Dr. Lawrence Robey sees a lot of families walk into the WIC office at the Madison County Health Department.

"It varies," Dr. Robey said. "Our peak level last year, we were at 7,200 women and children per month."

This week, Dr. Robey is telling more Madison County women, bother mothers and those expecting, they qualify for WIC.

"If you are on Medicaid or on SNAP, you're automatically eligible," Dr. Robey said.

WIC runs at 185% of the 2016 Federal Poverty Guidelines which means a person can make almost twice the federal guidelines and still qualify.

"The guidelines have been elevated therefore the amount of money a person can earn and still be eligible has gone up," Dr. Robey said.

These are the qualifications to participate:

Family Size          Annual Income                    Weekly Income
1                                $21,978                                   $423
2                                $29,637                                   $570
3                                $37,296                                   $718
4                                $44,955                                   $865
5                                $52,614                                 $1,012

"We educate the parents in terms of what they should buy in the stores, what they should feed their children, we supply vouchers which allows them to purchase healthy food to fill in some of the gaps in their nutrition," Dr. Robey said. "We help pregnant and breast feeding mothers to go through and breast feed their babies. We know by getting kids on good nutrition in life they do better throughout their childhood."

Women who are pregnant, had a baby within the past six months, those who are breastfeeding or serves as the parent or guardian of a child up to age 5, are all encouraged to apply for WIC at their local county health departments.


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