LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – New regulation requirements in a federally-funded food assistance program will allow for more Michigan families to be eligible even with higher incomes.
Updates to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, commonly known as WIC, took effect earlier this month.
“The 2023 federal income guidelines reflect a significant increase as of June 1,” Christina Herring, WIC director, said. “This is good news for Michiganders as more families may now be eligible for this important program that provides valuable nutritional education and healthy foods.”
A family of four may qualify for WIC with an annual income of up to $55,000, a more than $4,000 increase from 2022. Herring says families can be eligible as soon as they apply.
“They would just need to contact either one of our offices. And up until August 9, we are still offering the WIC waiver in remote services. So, if a family cannot come in in-person all the way up until August 9, they will be eligible to do a remote service,” Herring said.
Herring said the new thresholds translate to around an 8.1% increase over last year.
“It will allow more families to either be reintroduced to the program because they’re able to make a little bit more money and still be part of our program versus not being able to be eligible,” Herring said.
Herring praised changes made during the pandemic to encourage more fruits and vegetables in children’s diets. But she says she’d like to see Congress extend the program to include children up to age six.
“We do recognize that children are of school age or in kindergarten at the age of five, and so our program currently only allows you to be eligible up to five. So, if we were able to get it, increase the age to six, that would at least allow them to stay on the program a little bit longer,” Herring said.
A list below illustrates some of the updated program parameters:
- Family of 2 – $36,482 annual income, $702 weekly income
- Family of 3 – $45,991 annual income, $885 weekly income
- Family of 4 – $55,500 annual income, $1,068 weekly income
- Family of 5 – $65,009 annual income, $1,251 weekly income
- Family of 6 – $74,518 annual income, $1,434 weekly income
The program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that serves low to moderate income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum. It also provides nutrition education, supplemental foods, and breastfeeding promotion, support, and referrals for health care according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
For a breakdown of the Annual Income Guidelines, see here, or call customer service at 800-942-1636 for more information.