Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a supplemental healthy food program funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for infants and children up to age five, and pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women.
The Catawba County WIC office serves a monthly case load of nearly 4,000 participants. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
The Catawba County WIC office can be reached at (828) 695-5884.
To make an appointment, use this online form.
With the ongoing federal government shutdown, some of our WIC clients are concerned about the future. Catawba County's WIC program is continuing with business as usual. Benefits can not be issued early; however, benefits that are already loaded on eWIC cards are still active. We are closely monitoring the situation and will do our best to keep everyone informed if anything changes.
To be eligible, you or your child must:
- Live in North Carolina
- Live in a household with an income at or below WIC guidelines. A person receiving Medicaid, Work First Families Assistance (TANF), or assistance from the NC Food and Nutrition Services (food stamps) automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.
- Be at nutritional risk based on abnormal height and/or weight measurements, have a documented nutrition-related medical condition or have inadequate dietary intake.
To demonstrate eligibility, families will need:
- A current Medicaid card, NC Food and Nutrition Services card (known as Food Stamp Card), Work First (TANF) documentation OR
- Pay check stubs for everyone in the home that works.
- Proof of your physical address where you reside. (If your physical address is different than your mailing address, please bring proof of both.)
- Identification for the person(s) applying for WIC (ie: Medicaid card, social security card, birth certificate, valid driver’s license, DMV issued photo ID).
Clients may be certified to receive services for the following periods of time:
- Pregnant Women: During the pregnancy and up to six weeks postpartum.
- Non-breast feeding postpartum women: Until six months postpartum.
- Breastfeeding postpartum women: 12 months after delivery or if breastfeeding is discontinued, between 6 and 12 months postpartum.
- Infants: Until one year of age (12 months).
- Children: Certified every year after first birthday until they are five years of age.
To find out if your family is eligible, call (828) 695-5884.
To make an appointment, use this online form.
A new eWIC plastic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card is replacing paper vouchers and can be used like a “debit” card to purchase WIC-approved foods. eWIC is simple, safe and convenient. Cards are secured with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and work like a debit card at checkout. The cards will replace paper food vouchers and will be more convenient for families to use while grocery shopping.
Some Catawba County WIC participants began receiving eWIC cards in April, and others will transition to the cards throughout the remainder of 2018.
Each qualifying family is issued one eWIC card. Participants are instructed on how to use the eWIC card and are given information about approved foods that can be purchased with eWIC cards. Monthly benefit packages are loaded electronically onto the card, which can be used at area WIC-participating grocery and convenience stores. Benefits are debited from the eWIC account as approved foods are purchased from authorized WIC vendors. eWIC allows participants to only buy the foods from their benefit package that they need during a shopping trip. Families will be able to check out faster and won’t have to separate items at the register at most stores.
Approved foods can be identified while shopping by using the Bnft app on a smartphone or by logging in to www.mybnft.com.
Participants can view their shopping list and check their balance by requesting a copy at the local WIC office, by calling the automated customer service line at 1-844-230-0813, logging on to the participant web portal at www.mybnft.com, checking the last printed grocery receipt, requesting a balance inquiry at the store, or using the Bnft app on a smart phone.
Use our interactive map to find stores and farmers markets closest to you that accept WIC vouchers.
WIC strongly encourages women to breastfeed. Infants who are bottle fed can receive WIC contracted brands of iron fortified infant formula for the first year. At six months of age, infants can receive iron fortified infant cereal and baby food (fruits, vegetables, and meats). Special formulas may be issued for qualifying infants with a prescription.
Eligible participants receive food vouchers for milk, cheese, eggs, whole grain cereals high in iron, peanut butter, dried or canned beans or peas, whole grain bread, rice, or cereal, tofu, soy-based beverages, and fresh, frozen or canned fruit or vegetables. Exclusively breastfeeding women may also receive vouchers for canned tuna or salmon and receive additional food due to breastfeeding.
In addition to providing nutritional guidance and food packages, the WIC office has breastfeeding peer counselors to assist clients who have questions and concerns about breastfeeding. The staff provides encouragement and guidance for breastfeeding, which may include supplies such as manual and electric breast pumps for women who meet the criteria.
Nutritionists are available to answer client questions regarding eating habits to maintain health, gain or lose weight, comply with special diets (ex. diabetes); growth/weight status (over or underweight); anemia and dental care.