Program Details



In its concern over the high infant mortality rate in the United States and the health and nutritional status of pregnant women and young children, Congress in 1972 established the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) under the authority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a two-year pilot program, WIC was designed, in part, to address the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health, which concluded that nutritional deficiencies posed a health threat to low-income women and children and increased medical costs.

Permanently authorized in 1974, WIC served approximately 88,000 women and children at a cost of $10.4 million. Participation has increased to 7.4 million in 1997, with an appropriation of $3.7 billion. For fiscal year 1999, the WIC
program has received an appropriation of $3.924 billion. The Hawaii WIC Program currently serves over 36,000 participants, who during Federal Fiscal Year 1999, redeemed approximately 1,080,000 food instruments worth over $25.5 million.

The WIC program operates in all 50 states and 4 U.S. Territories. There are also 33 Indian Tribal Organizations operating WIC programs. Within each state, funds are distributed to qualified agencies. Hawaii WIC clinics are operated under the auspices of the Hawaii WIC Services Branch of the Hawaii State Department of Health.

Benefits of WIC

Studies have shown that inadequate nutrition and health care represent a threat to the physical and mental well being of certain individuals. Proper nutrition at the beginning of life can help prevent serious health problems. Infants
and preschoolers are going through a period of rapid growth, as well as intellectual and social development. Their nutrition status and health care they receive may have a major impact on their ability to function as happy, healthy and
ready to learn children.

Pregnant women who enroll in WIC have longer pregnancies leading to fewer premature births, experience fewer fetal and infant deaths, seek prenatal care earlier in pregnancy, and consume more of such key nutrients as iron, protein, calcium and Vitamin C. It has been estimated that every dollar spent on pregnant women in WIC produces $1.92 to $4.21 in Medicaid savings for newborns and their mothers.

WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding. The breastfeeding family is especially welcome to WIC. A mother can participate in WIC for up to one year postpartum, receiving extra foods and encouragement. She may even qualify for our special WIC Breast Pump Program.

Studies show breastfeeding families save WIC and Medicaid $478 in the first six months of the infant’s life or $161 after considering the WIC formula manufacturer’s rebate.

Click here for the WIC ELIGIBILITY ASSESSMENT to see if you may qualify*

*This online tool is only a preliminary assessment – Local WIC Agency staff can determine if you qualify for WIC services

Click here for the Hawaii WIC Program Information Brochure: Raise a Healthy Family with WIC

How to Become a WIC Client

  • For WIC Services, call and set up an appointment with the WIC clinic nearest you.  HAWAII WIC CLINIC LOCATIONS
  • Bring proof of income for everyone who works in the household. One of following:
    • Pay stub
    • Leave Earning Statement (LES)

Individuals with proof of Quest or TANF benefit documents or food stamps meet WIC income eligibility requirements.

  • Bring proof of identity. One of following:
    • Driver’s license
    • State I.D.
    • Birth Certificate
  • Bring proof of Hawaii residence. One of following:
    • Driver’s license
    • State I.D.
    • Military Housing Documents
    • Your household utility bill
    • Bring your baby or children who need WIC
    • Bring your baby’s or children’s immunization shot record

Income Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for Hawaii WIC services you must be either a pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum woman, or have children under 5 years old who have nutritional needs, meet federal income guidelines and be a resident of Hawaii.