The Minnesota WIC program is a government aid program. WIC provides low-income women, children and infants with healthy food, nutrition education and social and health services. Pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women can all benefit from the program; it gives them access to food and nutritional supplements that help them and their children stay healthy.
WIC eligibility is determined at the state level. As such, the specific application requirements, program benefits and food items differ from state to state. The requirements of the program are determined by the Minnesota WIC office, which also oversees the application and interview processes. For more information about the program, including the WIC qualifications, application process and benefits, read the following sections.
What are the WIC requirements in Minnesota?
Minnesota determines the WIC eligibility requirements for recipients across the state. To qualify for the program, candidates must meet designated residency, income and health requirements. Children and infants are also held to specific age and health requirements, such as having a medical or nutritional need as determined by an official in the state.
Eligibility is either confirmed or denied during a required WIC appointment, in which all applicants must meet with an official in person to provide proof of meeting program requirements. If you are unsure of who qualifies for WIC, you can find more information by downloading our informative guide.
How to Apply for WIC in Minnesota
Completing a WIC application is the first step toward receiving financial assistance through the program. Applications are processed by the state’s many office locations. If you are wondering, “Where can I find a WIC office near me?” there are multiple locations around the state. You can submit your application to any official program office in Minnesota.
Knowing where to apply for WIC helps prepare you for the entire application process. Part of this process includes a WIC interview, which takes place in-person at one of the clinics across the state. During the appointment, your information will be verified by a program official. Call the WIC number of your closest office location to make an appointment. There are a few documents you must bring to this appointment, such as:
- Proof of identity (i.e. a birth certificate or state ID)
- Proof of income (i.e. recent paystubs or a tax form)
- Proof of address (i.e. rental agreement or utility bill)
- Proof of participation in another government program (i.e. medical assistance or food stamps)
For more details on how to apply in your state, download our free informational guide.
What can you get with WIC in Minnesota?
The MN WIC program helps pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women gain access to health services and nutritious foods. Infants and children also benefit from the program by receiving vital food and nutritional supplements, formula and other items that promote good health and proper growth. For pregnant mothers, WIC provides breastfeeding education and support.
All program participants have access to a list of approved foods and items. Purchasing these items is fast and convenient. Everyone enrolled in the program receives WIC checks to be used at grocery stores across Minnesota.
The program covers a wide array of food items and nutritional supplements. For example, approved items for infants and children include baby formula, snacks and nutritional powders. Mothers can also purchase food items like meats, fruits, cereals and cheeses.
The program does not cover everything. There are many types and brands of food items that are not approved. It is your responsibility to know what is WIC approved and what is not before you start your shopping trip. The covered portion of the bill is limited to approved goods; any food items or products in your cart that are not covered by the program must be paid for out of pocket.
How to Prepare for a WIC Appointment in Minnesota
All candidates for the program must attend a WIC appointment at one of the official office locations in the state. This interview is a requirement of the application process. Anyone applying for the aid program is required to attend an in-person meeting to prove they meet all the requirements. Program officials review documents and confirm that all the information provided on the application form is accurate. In preparation for the WIC interview, candidates must gather documents that prove:
- Income (i.e. a tax form or paystub).
- Residency (i.e. utility bills or rental lease).
- Pregnancy (if applicable).
- Identity (i.e. a birth certificate or Social Security card).
- Participation (i.e. Head Start or fuel assistance).
The best way to stay organized during the WIC certification appointment process is to gather the documents listed above for each person who will benefit from the program. Aside from your own documents, you must collect verification documents for your child (if applicable). If you forget to bring one or more of these documents or bring a document that is not on the approved list, it may take longer for the state to process your application.
Additionally, everyone benefitting from the program is required to attend the appointment with you, including infants and children. The Minnesota WIC office officials must verify all identities before determining program eligibility.
It may be helpful to keep your documents separate from the documents of your child(ren). If you have more than one child, separate their documents into separate file folders with their names on the front page. This speeds up the appointment and helps the official complete his or her review.
How to Check Your WIC Balance in Minnesota
Each program participant receives an MN WIC Card to purchase approved food and items. The card works like a debit card and can be used at many approved retailers. The exact dollar amount loaded onto the card is determined after the interview process.
Each card carries a WIC balance that expires every thirty days. You can easily check this balance before and after buying groceries. Knowing your balance is an important way to avoid spending too much money. Once the funds are gone, you are expected to pay the remaining balance of the grocery bill.
You can make checking your WIC balance a habit every time you check out at the grocery store. The remaining amount can be found at the bottom of your most recent store receipt. You can also check your remaining balance using the My Minnesota WIC App.
The card only works in partnership with a personal identification number, or PIN. Never share this with anyone, as it puts your identity in jeopardy. Call a WIC office immediately if your card is lost, stolen or damaged. Your card will be deactivated and you can apply for a replacement.