How WIC Works

WIC is a government program that provides free healthy supplemental foods and breastfeeding support for pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children under age 5. WIC also helps other kinds of families with young children, single dad, or women who have experience miscarriage or women who have placed a baby up for adoption. 

Our dedicated, multi-lingual Mid-Shore WIC staff is committed to helping your family be the healthiest it can be. We are a supportive, judgement-free program and we serve Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties.

If you qualify, we hope you’ll take advantage of all the ways WIC can help you and your family.

WIC Services

WIC provides many valuable benefits and services to participants. These include:

  1. Nutrition Education, including eating healthfully while pregnant and breastfeeding and information on what you child needs as they grow.
  1. Breastfeeding Support, including coaching on technique, overcoming breastfeeding challenges, and assistance obtaining a breast pump.
  1. Free healthy food, including staple items like fruits and vegetables, baby food and cereal, eggs, peanut butter, whole grains, and more.
  1. Referrals to health and social agencies, especially those that can help with your specific needs.

WIC foods can help your family meet its nutritional and budget goals. See the Approved Food & Formula section for more information.

Who Qualifies for WIC

Lots of different kinds of families can be eligible for WIC, depending on their income. You can take a short survey on our homepage to get a preliminary screening for eligibility. The screening tool is not an application and you must still contact Mid-Shore WIC to apply for the program. 

To apply with our WIC program, you must also be a resident of Caroline, Dorchester, or Talbot Counties, in Maryland. If you live in a different Maryland County, visit the Maryland WIC website to connect with the WIC program in your area. 

Mid-Shore WIC Serves: 

  • Pregnant women, throughout the duration of their pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding women, until your baby is one year old.
  • Mothers who are not breastfeeding, up until the baby is six months old.
  • Postpartum women, regardless of pregnancy outcome, for up to six months after a pregnancy ends. This includes women who miscarry or who have chosen to put their baby up for adoption.
  • Infants and children, from birth to age five.
  • Fathers with a child under five years old.
  • Foster families with a child under five years old.
  • Caretakers, including legal or non-legal guardians caring for a child under age five, such as grandparents.
  • Military families with a child under age five.
  • Non-binary and transgender parents with a child under age five.  

Sometimes people don’t know they are eligible for WIC based on their work, living, or marital status. You can be eligible for WIC: 

  • If you have a job OR if you are unemployed
  • Own a home, rent your home, or live with friends or relative
  • Are married or single

WIC Income Qualifications

To be eligible for WIC, a family must also meet certain income requirements. The income eligibility is based on how much money you earn and your family size.

You may also be eligible for WIC benefits if you have SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Medical Assistance, Medicaid, Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) – regardless of how much money your family makes. If you aren’t sure if you might qualify, always give us a call and we can help determine your eligibility.

Chart showing WIC income guidelines based on family size. PDF linked below.

Apply for WIC

Applying for WIC is easy. Our staff can help you through the process and services are available in Spanish and other languages. 

You must make an appointment to apply for WIC in person. In some cases, a virtual appointment may be necessary. Call our office at (410) 479-8060 or dial 7-1-1 to place a call through Maryland Relay.

You must bring certain documents with you to your appointment to apply. You must also bring all children you want to include in receiving WIC benefits with you to the appointment, including infants. 

Proof of Household Income: Bring at least one of the following

  • Recent pay stubs or benefit letter (SSI, Social Security, Unemployment)
  • Medical Assistance card
  • Independence Card with register receipt (no more than 30 days old)
  • Your most recent tax return

Proof of Identity: Bring one for each person you want to be included in receiving WIC benefits, including all children and infants

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver’s license or Motor Vehicle Administration identification card
  • Social Security card
  • Picture identification (government, school, or employer issued) 

Proof of Address: Bring one of the following

  • Driver’s license or Motor Vehicle Administration identification card
  • An official bill (like a utility bill) or statement (such as a bank or credit card statement)
  • Copy of your lease 

Additional Documents: Some people may be asked to bring additional documentation. When you make your appointment, ask if you will need to provide any of the following

  • Proof of pregnancy 
  • Immunization record (for infants and children)
  • WIC referral

Your First Appointment

At your first appointment, you will apply for WIC using the documents listed in the previous section. 

Additionally, our WIC staff will:

  • Conduct a nutrition and health assessment (this is not a physical examination)
  • Discuss your health and nutrition goals and concerns with you
  • If you are pregnant, talk with you about breastfeeding options
  • Provide you with education about your monthly benefits to help you maximize your food budget
  • Make referrals for other medical or social services that you may need

Authorized Foods & WIC Benefits

WIC benefits can be used to purchase specific heathy foods, such as:

  • Fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, or canned.
  • Dairy products, including milk, cheese, soy milk, whole milk yogurt, and tofu.
  • Protein, including eggs, peanut butter, beans, peas, lentils, and canned fish like tuna. 
  • Whole grains, including whole wheat tortillas, bread, oats, brown rice, and whole grain pasta.
  • Juice, but must be 100% juice with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. 
  • Cereal, including a variety of healthy cold and hot options. 
  • Baby food, including fruits, vegetables, baby cereal, and infant formula (only of the brand, type, and size issued).

Authorized WIC foods can change. Be sure to download the current list of authorized foods, also available in Español.  We also highly encourage the use of the Maryland WIC app, which always has the current and easiest to use authorized foods list. 

Remember that your WIC benefits expire at the end of your monthly WIC cycle. Be sure to track this date carefully and get all the WIC foods you can buy.

Your WIC Card

When you are approved to participate in the Maryland WIC program, you will receive an eWIC card. This card works just like a debit card. It is loaded with your benefits and is used in WIC authorized stores to purchase foods. You will select a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The best way to find WIC authorized stores is to use the Maryland WIC App.
Because your eWIC card works like a debit card, it is important to keep it safe. You should also keep your card PIN safe. If your card is lost or stolen, call eWIC customer support right away at call 1-844-309-6097 or dial 7-1-1 to place a call through Maryland Relay. eWIC customer support can also help you reset your PIN if you forget it.

Maryland WIC App

The Maryland WIC App is the best resource to help you understand and use your WIC benefits. All participants are highly encouraged to download the App.

Shopping for WIC Foods

Your eWIC card works just like a debit card, so purchasing WIC approved foods is easy. These are our top tips to make shopping easy and get the most out of your WIC benefits.

Plan Ahead

  1. Double check your WIC balance in the Maryland WIC App so you know how much you can spend. 
  2. Make sure you know when your benefits will expire so you can be sure to get all of the WIC foods you can.
  3. Understand what is on the WIC Authorized Food list, including the type and amount. WIC foods are listed in ounces. Be sure you understand how the number of approved ounces may divide into smaller packages. For example, if 48 ounces of oatmeal are approved, you can buy three 16-ounce packages. 
  4. Double check that the store you plan to shop at is a WIC-approved store. You can do this in the Maryland WIC App.
  5. Plan your meals for the week using WIC-friendly recipes. Try to find several recipes that use the same ingredients to make large size purchases (like bags of rice) go farther. 
  6. Buy in-season fresh fruits and vegetables. These cost less than those that are not in-season. The USDA produces a helpful seasonal produce guide.
  7. Check for sales and coupons that can reduce the price of your WIC and non-WIC foods.
    • Your grocery store may have a mobile app that can help you find and save coupons more easily. 
    • You can also download the Flipp app. It lets you read the sale advertisements for lots of stores, including Walmart, Food Lion, Giant, Target, and Dollar General.
    • You may also want to download the Ibotta app. You can combine offers in the app with other coupons and earn cash back or gift cards.
  8. Make a list of what you plan to buy and separate your list into WIC and non-WIC foods to help you stay organized when you get to the store.

Shop Smart

  1. Keep your WIC and non-WIC items separate in your shopping cart. This will make checking out faster and easier. 
  2. If you also qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, do not buy your WIC approved foods with SNAP benefits. Purchase your WIC foods first with those benefits, and use your SNAP benefits to purchase other food items. 
  3. If a sale item you had planned to buy is out of stock, ask customer service for a rain check. This will let you buy the item at the discounted price at a future shopping trip.
  4. Let the cashier know you are using your eWIC card. This helps them understand may be buying your items in multiple transactions. 
  5. Buy your WIC foods first. Give the cashier any coupons you have before swiping your eWIC card. After paying for them using your eWIC card, you can purchase your remaining items with other benefits, cash, or a debit or credit card.

Additional Benefit Programs

Affordable Connectivity Program

WIC participants are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which helps eligible households can afford internet for work, school, healthcare, and more. It also provides cash assistance with the purchase of laptops. 
To learn more and apply, visit the program website.

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