Number of infants and women participating in WIC falls

A line chart showing the average monthly participation in WIC during fiscal years 1974 to 2010.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) helps safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women as well as infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk, by providing a package of supplemental foods, nutrition education, and health care referrals. During fiscal 2010, spending for WIC totaled $6.8 billion or 4 percent more than in fiscal 2009. An average 9.2 million people per month participated in the program, or 1 percent more than in the previous fiscal year. The number of children participating increased 3 percent, while the number of women and infants each decreased 2 percent from the previous year, reflecting the decrease in U.S. births in 2009. Monthly per person food costs averaged $41.55 after rebates or 2 percent less than the previous fiscal year. This chart was originally published in The Food Assistance Landscape, FY 2010, EIB-6-8, March 2011.

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