Healthy Choices = Healthy Families
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
- Supplemental nutritious foods
- Nutrition education and counseling at
- WIC clinics
- Screening and referrals to other health, welfare and social services
Who Does WIC Serve?
Provides education and counseling to pregnant women and new moms. WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the U.S.
The WIC target population are low-income, nutritionally at risk:
- Pregnant women (through pregnancy and up to six weeks after birth or after pregnancy ends)
- Breastfeeding women (up to infant’s first birthday)
- Non-breastfeeding postpartum women (up to six months after the birth of an infant or after pregnancy ends).
- Infants (up to first birthday)
- Children up to their fifth birthday
Am I Eligible for WIC?
WIC eligibility is based on household income, family size and other factors. If you think that you may be eligible for WIC benefits, please call (740) 349-6474 to talk to one of our WIC program staff.
WIC clinics are held at the health department, 675 Price Road, Newark, Ohio 43055, and at satellite locations in Buckeye Lake, Johnstown and Pataskala.
When you call for an appointment, the WIC staff will try to schedule a time and location that is convenient to you.
Access to foods that support healthy eating habits benefits an individual’s health throughout his or her life. Healthy eating habits include controlling calories; eating a variety of foods and beverages from all of the food groups; and limiting intake of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. Practicing healthy eating habits can be a challenge for all of us, but for some families, limited access to grocery stores due to a lack of reliable transportation or living in "food deserts" where the nearest store is miles away, contributes to poorer health in many households.
Visit our Healthy Food Access Map to find Farmers Markets, Food Pantries, and stores that accept WIC and SNAP benefits in Licking County. Choose stores with a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and multiple dairy and protein options for your best health!
The experience of breastfeeding is special for so many reasons, including the joyful closeness and bonding with your baby, the cost savings, and the health benefits for both mother and baby. Every woman’s journey to motherhood is different, but one of the first decisions a new mom makes is how to feed her child. Here, you’ll find facts about breastfeeding and get practical tips on how to make breastfeeding work for you while getting the support you need.
Breastfeeding support is available through the WIC program's Breastfeeding Peer, (740) 349-6942, and the Healthy Moms and Babies program, (740) 349-6829. Breastfeeding support groups and classes are open to the public and are on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 10:30 - 11:30AM at the Licking County Health Department.
Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses
One of the most important things businesses and the community can do is to allow mothers to feel comfortable while nursing in public. Ohio law (Section 3781.55 of the Ohio Revised Code) allows breastfeeding in public. Businesses can show their support by displaying the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” decal and educating their staff on the acceptance of breastfeeding in their establishments.
Breastfeeding is a personal choice, but communities play a vital role in informing and supporting a mother’s decision to breastfeed her baby. Returning our communities back into a breastfeeding supportive culture will take efforts by family, friends, employers, educational institutions, hospitals and businesses. The Licking County Health Department recognizes the local businesses that have taken advantage of displaying the “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” decal at their establishments. Click the link below to see an updated list of Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses in Licking County. To join these local businesses in becoming “Breastfeeding Friendly,” please call the Licking County Health Department at (740) 349-6942.
Infant Safe Sleep Tips
Follow these tips and visit SafeSleep.Ohio.gov to learn why of the ABCs of infant safe sleep are safest for baby: The safest place for your baby to sleep is in the room where you sleep, but not in your bed. Never place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, pillows, cushions or soft surfaces. Dress your baby in sleep clothing, such as a sleep sack, and do not use a blanket. Avoid letting the baby get too hot. Keep room temperatures in a range comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations. Breastfeeding is recommended to help to reduce the risk of SIDS. Avoid smoke exposure during pregnancy and after birth. Place the crib in an area that is always smoke free. Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development. Consider using a pacifier at nap time and bed time, once breastfeeding is well established. Talk to those who care for your baby, including child care providers, family, and friends, about placing your baby to sleep on his back for every sleep. Obtain regular prenatal care to reduce the risk of SIDS even before birth. Avoid alcohol and illicit drug use during pregnancy and after birth.