WIC changed from paper coupons to EBT cards in September 2020 in Cook County. Learn how this change affects families and children’s nutrition.
Instead of paper coupons, clients have a debit card to purchase WIC eligible foods. As a result of this change, WIC clients will have more flexibility on when, where and how they can use benefits.
- WHEN: Clients can use their WIC benefits in more than one place! Previously WIC clients had to redeem their benefits all at once or lose the unused value. With EBT, clients can choose a few or many available WIC foods each time they shop. Unused benefits will not carry over to the next month.
- WHERE: With EBT, all WIC clients have the choice of shopping at either a Food and Nutrition Center or any WIC-authorized grocer or retail store! Previously Chicago residents were assigned to a specific type of WIC retailer.
- HOW: WIC clients now have more choices, including bulgur, whole wheat tortillas, yogurt, tofu and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Apply for WIC
Read and Share Our Guide
A Spanish language version of the guide is available on page 2.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Food and Nutrition Center (FNC) is a store that only sells WIC foods. FNCs sometimes provide other support services for WIC clients.
- Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or just had a baby
- Infants and children under five years old (including foster children)
- Families with low to medium income
Noncitizens are eligible. WIC does not count toward the Public Charge rule.
- A monthly food package specifically designed with the nutrition mothers and young children need
- Breastfeeding support
- Nutrition education