The State agency develops policies and procedures for selecting and authorizing WIC supplemental foods and food packages. Food selection and authorization is the process a State agency uses when making decisions about the brands, types, and forms of foods WIC participants will receive. The process involves maximizing the nutritional value of WIC food packages while at the same time managing cost.
Developing policies to ensure that food benefits issued to participants accommodate the nutritional and health goals of the WIC Program is essential. WIC food packages, together with nutrition education, are the primary means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants. WIC food benefits are scientifically-based and intended to address the supplemental nutritional needs of each category of WIC’s pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children. The WIC food packages are designed to provide participants with a wide variety of supplemental food, provide staff flexibility in prescribing food packages to meet a participant’s nutrition, breastfeeding, and cultural needs, and promote and support successful long-term breastfeeding.