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Women, Infants and Children (WIC) - Clinical Services

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program

Welcome to WIC, our goal is to support women, infants and children during critical times of growth and development by providing them with: nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.
  • What is WIC?
  • Who participates in WIC?
  • What does WIC offer?
  • Do I qualify for WIC?
  • Where can I spend WIC vouchers?
  • How can WIC help me with feeding my baby?
  • What do I bring to my WIC appointment?
  • What is the Vendor/Merchant Program?
  • Where are WIC clinics located in Hamilton County?
  • Where can I get more information?
  • Best Start: WIC Breastfeeding Support Program

What is WIC?

WIC is a program that offers nutrition education, breastfeeding education and support, nutritious foods, and health referrals to women, infants, and children who qualify.

Who participates in WIC?

  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women (up to infant’s 1st birthday)
  • Non-breastfeeding, postpartum women (up to 6 months after the birth of an infant or after pregnancy ends)
  • Infants (up to 1st birthday). WIC serves 45 percent of all infants born in the United States.
  • Children up to their 5th birthday.

What does WIC offer?

  • Vouchers for healthy foods
  • Nutrition education
  • Breastfeeding promotion and support
  • Easy access to childhood immunizations and physical exams (EPSD&T)
  • Referrals to other health and social services

During a WIC visit, growth measurements and hemoglobin levels (iron levels in the blood) are checked and nutrition information is given. Participants also receive food vouchers that they can use to purchase certain WIC approved foods. WIC foods are high in key nutrients that women and children need for good health, such as iron, calcium and folic acid. There is also a special food package for mothers who fully breastfeed their infants. Foods bought with WIC vouchers are meant to be combined with other purchased foods to provide balanced meals for those who receive WIC.

Do I qualify for WIC?

Families who qualify for Medicaid, TennCare, SNAP and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are income qualified for WIC. Many other persons not receiving benefits from these programs may also qualify.

If you have questions about qualifying for the WIC Program, please call your local WIC clinic (see list below) or the WIC Regional Office at (423) 209-8220.

Where can I spend WIC vouchers?
Almost all chain grocery stores and some independently owned stores accept WIC vouchers. Look for the emblem in the store window or on the door that says “Tennessee WIC Vouchers Accepted Here." Helpful things to know about vouchers:

  • Vouchers must be signed at the cash register in front of the cashier.
  • Keep your WIC vouchers in a safe place because lost vouchers cannot be replaced.
  • All vouchers must be spent in the correct month.
  • If you have any questions regarding vouchers or grocer relations you may call 209-8312 or 209-8220.

WIC Income Eligibility Criteria for 2012-13

Income eligibility is uniform statewide and is determined at the local level by the Public Health Office Assistant (PHOA/clerk) in the health department.*The participant’s household gross income must be equal to or less than these WIC income guidelines (185% of Federal poverty).

July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013

Family Size



   Twice Monthly



















































Each Add'l
Member Add






*Do not allow hardship deductions from the above income poverty guidelines. A standard deduction has been included in all of the above income levels.

How can WIC help me with feeding my baby?
Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economical and emotional benefits to mother and baby. Since a major goal of the WIC Program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, WIC mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their infants. WIC has historically promoted breastfeeding to all pregnant women as the optimal infant feeding choice, unless medically contraindicated.

  • WIC mothers choosing to breastfeed are provided information through counseling and breastfeeding educational materials.
  • Breastfeeding mothers receive follow-up support through peer counselors.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers.
  • Mothers who exclusively breastfeed their infants receive an enhanced food package.
  • Breastfeeding mothers can receive breast pumps to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding.

For more information, please visit the USDA Breastfeeding Promotion and Support website.


However, if you decide to use formula, the WIC program can help reduce monthly costs by assisting you with vouchers for standard Good Start milk-based or soy formula. Therapeutic formulas may be available with proper documentation from a physician for infants and children with particular health problems. Please discuss your baby’s nutrition with your pediatrician or call your WIC clinic for more information on breast feeding or on infant formula.

What do I bring to my WIC appointment?
All WIC visits are by appointment only (Some clinics may allow for clients to walk-in, please contact your WIC clinic for those times). You must bring ALL of the following information to each WIC certification/recertification visit:

  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of income
  • Please note that at WIC certification visits you cannot be seen without proof from all three categories. This is very important because if you do not bring this information, you will have your appointment re-scheduled.

Please remember:

  • Identification, residence and income proof must be current and valid
  • Participant must be present at certification and re-certification appointments
  • Bring updated shot records for infants and children at each visit


You must bring one item from each of the 3 categories below:

1. Acceptable types of proof of identification (for the caretaker and person applying for WIC) include:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Driver’s License
  • Passport
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Hospital Birth Certificate, ID Bracelet or Crib Card
  • Photo ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Registration in other government programs
  • Immunization Record
  • TennCare Card (if found eligible at DHS) or Medical Insurance Card

2. Acceptable types of proof of residency (must include street address) include:

  • Rent receipt/mortgage statement
  • Utility bill/receipt
  • Official correspondence
  • Letter of Residency (written letter of support from a third party)

3. Acceptable types of proof of income (must bring for each/all household members) include:

  • Bank statement with current transactions
  • Paycheck stub dated within the last 30 days
  • Income statement from employer (when check stubs are not available or paid in cash). It is preferred that this statement be on the employer’s letterhead.
  • Written letter of support from a third party (please call for details on what this letter must contain)
  • Proof of eligibility for Food Stamps, TANF or Medicaid
  • Social Security Supplemental Income Statement
  • Social Security Benefits Statement
  • Veterans Benefits Statement
  • Previous year tax return with W-2 Form(s)

Bringing the necessary information helps us to better serve you, your children, and other WIC participants.

What is the Vendor/Merchant Program?

The WIC Program works through a voucher system and grocery stores known as WIC Vendors provide the supplemental foods to WIC participants. A Vendor Coordinator works with the local WIC Vendors who accept WIC Vouchers to provide up-to-date WIC policies and procedures. If you are the owner or manager of a local grocery store and would like more information about the Merchant Program, please call 209-8312 or 209-8220.

Where are WIC clinics located in Hamilton County?

Family Health Pediatric Clinic—Hamilton County Health Dept.
921 E. 3rd St.
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone (423) 209-8050 Fax (423) 209-8051
Business hours: Monday-Thursday 8:00-5:00; Friday 8:00-4:00

Ooltewah Health Center
5520 High St.
Ooltewah, TN 37363
Phone (423) 238-4269 Fax (423) 238-5910
Business hours: Monday 8:00-6:00; Tuesday-Friday 8:00-4:00

Sequoyah Health Center
9527 Ridge Trail Rd.
Soddy Daisy, TN 37379
Phone (423) 842-3031 Fax (423) 842-5353
Business hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8:00-4:00; Wednesday 8:00-6:00

Birchwood Health Center
5623 Hwy 60
Birchwood, TN 37308
Phone (423) 961-0446 Fax (423) 961-2344
Business hours: Monday and Friday 8:00-4:00; Tuesday and Thursday 8:00-3:00; Wednesday 8:00-6:00

Teen Learning Center (only for students enrolled in the center)
(423) 209-5868 Ext# 2288
Business hours: one day each month during school year 8:00-4:00

Dodson Avenue Community Health Center
1200 Dodson Ave.
Chattanooga, TN 37406
(423) 209-8220 for appointments
Business hours: Monday 8:00-6:00; Tuesday and Thursday 8:00-4:00; Friday 8:00-2:00

Southside Community Health Center
100 E 37th St.
Chattanooga, TN 37410
(423) 209-8220 for appointments
Business hours: Wednesday 8:00-4:00

Where can I get more information about WIC?

Best Start: WIC Breastfeeding Support Program

The Best Start program is designed to promote breastfeeding as the preferred method of infant feeding and to optimize the health of all Hamilton County children by increasing the percentage of women who breastfeed. Trained personnel are available for breastfeeding help in all Hamilton County WIC clinics.

As a participant in the WIC program, pregnant and breastfeeding women have free access to:

  • Breastfeeding classes
  • One-on-one breastfeeding counseling/assistance with the breastfeeding coordinator or breastfeeding peer counselor
  • Manual breast pumps
  • Hospital grade electric pumps for NICU babies
  • Electric breast pumps for moms who are fully breastfeeding their infants and working/attending school full time (while supplies last)

For health providers serving women and infants in the Chattanooga-Hamilton County area the Best Start Program offers:

  • Breastfeeding promotion at health fairs and presentations
  • Corporate lactation program information

For more information about our breastfeeding program, contact the breastfeeding coordinator at 423-209-8321 or the breastfeeding peer counselors at 423-209-8132 or 423-209-8016.

24-Hour Breastfeeding Help Line: 1-800-994-9662

Click the following links for more information and support on breastfeeding:

·       CDC—Breastfeeding

·       La Leche League

·       Women’s Health—Breastfeeding

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