We Are WIC
2020-2021

To safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.

Meet WIC

Since 1974, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has provided healthy food, quality nutrition services, breastfeeding support, health screenings, healthcare and social services referrals for millions of expectant and new parents, babies, and young children. WIC’s targeted services are demonstrated to improve birth outcomes and support positive child growth and development, helping to grow a healthier next generation.
3.5 Million+

Contacts with
women, infants, and children

During 2020 and 2021, Indiana WIC completed 3,586,062 participant contacts through a statewide network of WIC clinics. 1,962,454 of these contacts were children between the ages of 1-4. This represents an increase of 145,528 participants in 2020 and another increase of 153,310 participants in 2021.

Indiana WIC supported $194 million in food sales at more than 600 Indiana WIC-authorized grocery stores and pharmacies over 2020 and 2021.

164

STATEWIDE NETWORK OF WIC
CLINICS

Dedication to
Our Clients dedication-icon

To Indiana families, WIC is a safe and welcoming home. It is a place where we share the joys and anxieties of parenting, celebrate new babies and growing young children, and where we honor with pride moms and dads doing their best for their families.

WIC is where families CONNECT to receive dependable health, nutrition, breastfeeding and social supports. Respectful, caring guidance is generously offered to the families assisted by WIC. With certainty, WIC families know that WIC is a helping hand up in the midst of a world of uncertainty.

We are committed to helping Indiana families discover the importance of healthy nutrition, to uplift their health and wellbeing, and to helping them find their footing during times of despair. New challenges require new solutions, leading to INNOVATION and technological GROWTH for Indiana’s WIC program.

Comprehensive Nutrition Services & Benefits

WIC provides nutrition and health education, breastfeeding support, healthy food, and referrals to other services free of charge to Indiana families who qualify.
WIC OFFERS FAMILIES:

Breastfeeding Promotion and Support

  • Breastfeeding counselors and classes
  • Peer groups and breastfeeding education and support
  • Breast pumps
  • WIC’s highest value food package which includes protein-rich food to ensure critical nutrients are provided for breastfeeding moms

 

Access to Healthy Foods

  • A convenient, eWIC card to redeem food benefits at local grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets

HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICE REFERRALS

Download the INWIC App Today

NUTRITION EDUCATION

  • Mobile tips at their fingertips – wherever that may be. Innovative solutions for shopping, buying, preparing, and eating well to improve health. When it comes to keeping children healthy, often it’s up to mom, her shopping list, and her imagination in the kitchen. With nutritionists and nurses on hand, WIC helps the whole family eat better.
To download the app, search “IN WIC” or “Indiana WIC” on Google Play or the Apple App Store

Indiana WIC’s Response to Covid-19

Indiana WIC remains committed to serving families and continuing daily operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. WIC local agencies have been given the flexibility to complete WIC appointments remotely, online or over the telephone. These appointments include enrollment, recertification, nutrition education/issuing benefits, breastfeeding support and referrals to other services.

Adapting to Working Remotely
In 2020 and 2021, WIC staff stepped up to the plate with creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication. With many employees still working from home, the opportunity for planned, private, quiet time continued to encourage richer conversations.

Throughout the pandemic many employees found they are able to connect more deeply with clients via web than they are typically able to do in the office. This extra time for empathy continued to encourage meaningful conversations and strengthen connections with clients.

Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS)
Approved COVID-19 Waivers through August 18, 2021
Connecting with Available Local Food Assistance
In response to the increased need for local food assistance, Indiana WIC shared a new tool developed by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) that makes it easier for families to find food resources near their home. The tool includes two types of organizations shown on the map: food pantries and meal sites. Food pantries are locations where Hoosiers can pick up groceries to prepare and use at their homes. Meal sites serve packed meals that are ready to take home and eat.
Returning to the Clinics

After much anticipation, in-person WIC 
appointments resumed on April 1, 2022.

To maintain social distance without sacrificing care, Indiana WIC was able to engage with their clients through digital technology, specifically via the following:
  • Shop for foods and get WIC benefits.
  • Locate vendors – if one vendor was out with the shortage of supplies, clients could easily locate another vendor to find their food or formula.
  • Locate staff and clinics.
To maintain social distance without sacrificing care, Indiana WIC was able to engage with their clients through digital technology, specifically via the following:
  • Shop for foods and get WIC benefits.
  • Locate vendors – if one vendor was out with the shortage of supplies, clients could easily locate another vendor to find their food or formula.
  • Locate staff and clinics.

+9.8%

Increased Caseload

+??%​

Decrease in Infant Mortality

+??%​

Increased Prenatal Care

+??%​

Decrease in Maternal Smoking

DECREASE IN MATERNAL SMOKING

2019 to 2020

1.6% Decrease

2020 to 2021

2.9% Decrease

INCREASED CASELOAD

2019 to 2020

5.0% Increase

2020 to 2021

5.3% Increase

Indiana WIC Breastfeeding Report

Indiana WIC
Breastfeeding Data

map
FY2020
  • The state rate was 72.4%, an increase of 0.2% compared to FY2019.
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding initiation rate at or above the state rate.
  • The following counties have met the Healthy People 2020 breastfeeding initiation objective of 81.9%.
  • Porter 83.9%
  • Whitley 82.8%
  • Adams 82.6%
FY2021
  • The state rate was 71.4%, an decrease of 1% compared to FY2020.
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding initiation rate at or above the state rate.
  • The following counties have met the Healthy People 2020 breastfeeding initiation objective of 81.9%.
  • Owen 84.8%
  • Porter 83.1%
map
FY2020
  • The state rate was 30.4%, an increase of 4.0% compared to FY2019.
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding at 3 months rate at or above the state rate.
FY2021
  • The state rate was 33.6%, an increase of 3.2% compared to FY2020.
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding at 3 months rate at or above the state rate.
map
FY2020
  • The state rate was 21.2%, an increase of 3.2% compared to FY2019
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding at 6 months rate at or above the state rate.
FY2021
  • The state rate was 23.6%, an increase of 2.4% compared to FY2020.
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding at 6 months rate at or above the state rate.
map
FY2020
  • The state rate was 11.4%, an increase of 1.7% compared to FY2019
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding at 12 months rate at or above the state rate.
FY2021
  • The state rate was 12.3%, an increase of 0.9% compared to FY2020.
  • The counties with the darkest shade had a breastfeeding at 12 months rate at or above the state rate.

Local Agency Breastfeeding Events

In 2014, the USDA established the “WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence” (BFAE) – formerly known as the “Loving Support Award” – to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities. The name of the award was recently re-branded by the USDA to go along with their updated WIC Breastfeeding website and curriculum.

The intent is to provide models and motivate other local agencies to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities and ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity, and duration rates among WIC clients.

The award is given at three levels of performance that build on one another: Gold, Gold Premiere, and Gold Elite. This approach recognizes agencies that are demonstrating model practices, as well as those who are at varying stages of implementing exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support practices.

To achieve the Gold Premiere Award, local agencies must also have a fully Breastfeeding category of at least 15% for two consecutive years.

Indiana WIC local agencies have been hard at work to put these best practices in place for breastfeeding promotion and support, and several agencies have been recognized for their accomplishments.

GOLD:
New Hope Services, Inc. posted an inspiring breastfeeding success story on their website about a young mother, Di, and her new baby Kamila.

Di and her baby Kamila came to our WIC office as a referral from their nurse practitioner. The duo was struggling to make breastfeeding successful. Di knew her daughter was getting taller but wasn’t gaining enough weight.

She knew WIC provided supplemental foods but never reached out because her family could afford groceries. She discovered that WIC also has breastfeeding experts. With one-on-one support, weekly visits, and a lot of care from her mom, Kamila began gaining weight without the help of formula.

Di credits much of her success to the support from the WIC lactation staff.

Her nurse practitioner agrees. The extra support for families is tremendous. WIC is more than just formula, she said. She counts on WIC to provide nutrition and breastfeeding support for her patients that qualify for the program.
Her office routinely refers to WIC when a family is in need of more education or support than her office can provide. WIC has a positive environment and can provide more than I can in 15 or 20 minutes.
Di has a simple message for other families considering WIC:

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to reach out – WIC is more than milk and food. It is support to help you be the best mom you can be.

231

WIC Staff participated in advanced lactation training.

Di and Kamila are just one of many families whose lives are improved because of the support and resources provided by WIC that extend Di and Kamila beyond the clinic walls.

WIC Commodities
Annual Report 2020-2021

WIC Commodities Programs managed $53,730,045 in food and administrative funding in 2020 and $44,414,970 in 2021.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) purchases USDA commodity food, primarily proteins, fruits, and vegetables, through USDA’s Web Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) portal and delivers the food to eleven food banks serving all 92 Indiana counties. The food banks then distribute food through food pantries and soup kitchens who choose to participate in the program and adhere to program regulations and state policies.
Eligibility

Eligible recipients are Indiana residents with gross household income at or below 185% of current federal poverty income guidelines which are updated annually July 1. Households who participate in Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), National School Lunch Program (NSLFP), or Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) are considered categorically eligible.

Impact

In 2020, Indiana received $44,802,025 in food funds and $6,765,217 in administrative funds which included additional funding of $2,877,684 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES) and $1,943,365 from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

This funding enabled serving 1,569,016 households at mobile and stationary food pantries and food banks as well as provided 1,369,781 meals served at soup kitchens. 1,254,605 pounds of TEFAP food were diverted for use in Disaster Household Distributions from April 15 to June 27 in response to the public health emergency.
In 2021, Indiana received $35,833,473 in food funds and $6,214,964 in administrative funds which included additional funding of $1,531,153 from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), $1,243,410 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES), and $153,061 from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a seasonal program that provides a once per season benefit to eligible WIC participants to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and cut herbs from approved vendors at approved selling locations throughout Indiana.
Eligibility
Members of households participating in WIC who are a child aged one to five, an infant more than four months old, or pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum are eligible to receive WIC FMNP benefits. Benefits are issued at local WIC clinics and some farmers’ markets and roadside stands.
Impact in 2020

WIC FMNP spent $168,952 of $208,607 in food funds

37,071 food instruments were issued. 21,119 food instruments were redeemed, resulting in an overall redemption rate of 67.75%.

The program received $63,613 in administrative funding.
Impact in 2021

WIC FMNP spent $179,920 of $255,761 in food funds

40,405 food instruments were issued. 22,490 food instruments were redeemed, resulting in an overall redemption rate of 55.54%.

Farm to Food Bank (F2FB)
Indiana applied for and received its first Farm to Food Bank grant in 2021. The project acquires Indiana donated produce and distributes it through the TEFAP network. Funding of $111,719 allowed the project to pay for the cost of harvesting, packaging, and transporting more than one million pounds of fresh produce into the hands of Hoosiers.

Covid Response at Food Banks

Indianapolis Indians Food Drive

The Indianapolis Indians teamed up with Gleaners Food Bank and the Woman, Infants and Children program (WIC) on November 2, 2020 at the Victory Field parking lot in downtown Indianapolis.

In what had been an extremely challenging year for Hoosiers, Indianapolis Indians Charities partnered with Gleaners Food Bank and Indiana WIC to provide food to hundreds of families as part of the ‘No One Runs on Empty’ campaign. Randy Lewandowski, Indianapolis Indians President and General Manager stated, “Combating food hunger in the Circle City is just one small way we can give back and navigate the pandemic together.” John Elliott, Gleaners Food Bank President/CEO noted:
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not only shown the dramatic connection between health and hunger but has revealed inequities facing our most vulnerable populations. Those already facing challenges were the first ones to feel the impact of the pandemic and will experience that impact long-term.”

Laura Chavez, director of Indiana WIC explained, “Indiana WIC is so excited to be partnering with the Indianapolis Indians and Gleaners Food Bank in finding new and creative ways to connect Hoosier families with food resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this drive-thru event allows families to feel safe and secure while meeting their needs for healthy food.”

Hunger Hero Award

In August of 2021, John Elliott, the President/CEO of Gleaners Food Bank, presented Legita Wilson, FMNP/SFMNP Coordinator with a Hunger Hero Award. Legita was one of only four recipients of the award and was selected (unanimously) by the Gleaners leadership team for her dedication to serving Hoosier families and supporting food banks during a particularly challenging time.

Fellow colleagues state, “her service-oriented heart is perfectly complemented by her incredible work ethic, resulting in a commodities program that is rivaled by no other state.” Indiana State Health Commissioner, Kristina Box, confirmed Legita’s deserving recognition of the award, adding, “it is an honor to have [Legita] engaged with Hoosiers making sure they have food security during this critical time.” Indiana Health & Human Service Assistant Commissioner, Eldon Whetstone emphasized Legita was “tremendously deserving” of the award and “a critical driver to hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers receiving millions (literally) of pounds of food this past year.”

Congratulations, Legita!

Indiana WIC Vendor Spotlight

Lindsey Downs, a vendor consultant for Indiana WIC/TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program), was nominated by her colleagues for the Team Player Award and featured in the Indiana Department of Health “The Nerve Center” publication. Lindsey was recognized for her top-notch customer service and for being a true team player.
Congratulations, Lindsey. Thank you for your hard work!

Comprehensive Communications

Indiana WIC partners with Brush Art as an educational content partner to provide a comprehensive array of communications for our agencies and the public. The final products include highly customized print and digital content solutions, meeting our participants where they are.

Some highlights include:

Behind the Scenes

WIC State Staff
XXXXXXXXX

WIC Marketing

Because many eligible families do not believe they qualify for WIC, Indiana WIC collaborated with the Indy Hunger Network to create a series of videos about the benefits of the WIC program. The videos use testimonials to educate and encourage viewers to see if their family may qualify for WIC assistance.

View the videos below or visit the Indy Hunger Network.

2020 and 2021 Annual WIC Conferences

2020 Conference

The WIC Annual Training & Education Conference on November 17, 2020, was the first virtual conference Indiana WIC has hosted. With a fitting theme for 2020 of “The Art of Compassion” attendees and guests were reminded of Indiana WIC’s continued strive to lead with kindness and compassion.

2020 and 2021 Annual WIC Conferences​

Pictured behind the masks: Eldon Whetstone, JD, Assistant Commissioner, Laura Chavez, MPH, Director, and Brian Busching, MPH, Deputy Director.

2021 Conference

Indiana WIC Annual Education and Training Virtual Conference was WIC’s second virtual conference.  This year’s conference focus was creating a space for healing the body, mind and spirit.

WIC Director, Laura Chavez and Brian Busching, Deputy Director, thank Keynote Speaker Fancoise Mathieu for sharing insights on, 'Why It's OK if You're Not Rocking the Pandemic'.

2021 Conference Speakers

Local Partnerships

SUPPORT AT CAMP ATTERBURY
Camp Atterbury, a National Guard training base located in Edinburgh, Indiana, became one of eight U.S. safe havens for over 7,000 Afghan evacuees after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021. At its peak, roughly 47% of the Afghan guests were under the age of 18.
Over 4,000 staff and volunteers contributed to the operation at Camp Atterbury, including several state agencies. In mid-September 2021, Indiana WIC staff visited the camp to offer support to the many Afghan infants, children and new parents residing there.
State and local WIC Nutrition and Breastfeeding staff provided the following on-site education and assistance to staff and Afghan guests:
The experience was a powerful opportunity for many, including Hannah Rutledge, a WIC breastfeeding peer counselor, who explained, “regardless of language we can find connection.” Hannah added, “being able to talk to the mothers and answer their questions, validate their feelings, and help empower them was a wonderful experience.” The State and local WIC agencies continue to work with resettlement agencies to assist Afghan families as they relocate to communities in Indiana.
FLICKS AT VICTORY FIELD

Movie-goers and baseball fans were in for a treat with the “Flicks at Victory Field” series. In partnership with the Indianapolis Indians, Indiana WIC helped create a memorable movie watching experience for families as the stadium became a socially distanced outdoor movie theater. One lucky family (pictured) was the winner of the Indiana WIC on field pod giveaway contest for the screening of “Angels in the Outfield” on Friday, September 25, 2020.

FATHER’S DAY AT VICTORY FIELD

Father’s Day at Victory Field was a grand slam as Indiana WIC presented the “Father’s Day Catch on the Field” event. Celebrating dads in the best way possible, the event was a great time to grab the mitt and share a special moment with dad for a postgame catch down on the field.

Closing Statement

In what has been an unforgettable time of challenges, Indiana WIC remained strong. Together, with support, technology and innovation, Indiana WIC helped guide clients to the crucial resources they needed and navigate the pandemic.

Do you have something you would like to share about Indiana WIC?
We want to hear from you! Submit your feedback, stories, or news submissions using the form below.

    This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

    Side-Lying Hold

    1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
    2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
    3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
    4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
    5. Reverse for the left breast.

    This hold is useful when:

    Cross-Cradle Hold

    1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
    2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
    3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
    4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
    5. Reverse for the left breast.

    This hold is useful when:

    Clutch or “Football” Hold

    1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
    2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
    3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
    4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
    5. Reverse for the left breast.

    This hold is useful when:

    Cradle Hold

    1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
    2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
    3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
    4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
    5. Reverse for the left breast.

    This hold is useful when:

    Laid-Back Hold

    1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
    2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
    3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

    This hold is useful when: