How To Apply For WIC in Houston

WIC in Houston

How To Apply For WIC in Houston


You are what your mother ate!

There was a study that stated mothers who have poor eating habits during pregnancy increase the likelihood of their children developing health issues like high cholesterol, raised levels of blood sugar and obesity.

This is all very scary stuff!

The good thing is there is an agency who solely focuses on helping women, infants, and children to improve their diets and health overall. That agency is WIC.

In this article will talk to you about the program and let you know where you can apply for WIC in Houston. In addition to this after you finish reading this article you will have learned the following:

  • Whether or not fathers qualify for WIC services?
  • Which foods does WIC suggest that mothers and babies eat?
  • How long can your child receive WIC services?
  • How much money you must make to qualify for WIC in Houston.
  • Where do you fall on the Federal Income Poverty Level?

There is lots to explain so let’s started!

Contents

What Is WIC?

Is a state program that provides supplemental food assistance, nutrition education and breastfeeding support to women, infants, and children.

The WIC acronym stands for women, infants, and children.

What Services Are Provided By WIC?

WIC offers the following services to its clients:

  • Health Foods
  • Nutrition Education
  • Breastfeeding Support
  • Referrals to outside agencies

We will explain each service in more depth in the following section.

Health Foods

The primary service that WIC offers is to help families purchase healthy foods.  Emphasis on healthy foods.

Unlike SNAP benefits, WIC limits the items clients can purchase. WIC will only offer help to purchase healthy foods.

The reason being is they want women, infants, and children to establish good eating habits. Another reason is foods high in salt or sugar not only negatively affect an expecting mother during her pregnancy, but it affects the baby as well.

WIC clients are able to purchase foods via an EBT card similar to the one below.

WIC in Houston

WIC uploads money on to the card and families use this to purchase healthy foods like:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Low-Fat Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cereal
  • Eggs
  • Juice
  • Peanut Butter
  • Beans

Nutrition Education

Educating clients about nutrition is another important service offered at WIC.

WIC clients receive individual nutrition counseling and nutrition classes to help them to improve their diet and overall health.  Men who have family members in the WIC program are also encouraged to attend these classes.

WIC clients learn about the following topics:

  • Tips for teens who are pregnant
  • Infant problems like colic, constipation, and crying
  • Parenting skills
  • Why childhood immunizations are important
  • How to eat healthy during pregnancy for you and your baby
  • Healthy foods for kids who are picky eaters

Breastfeeding Support

WIC is a huge supporter of breastfeeding.

The program offers encouragement and instructions on how to breastfeed. In addition to this many of the WIC clinics provide free breast pumps.

WIC also offers the following tips on breastfeeding:

  • Why breastfeeding is best for your baby
  • What a father’s role in breastfeeding is
  • How women can breastfeed while still working
  • Tips for teens who breastfeed
  • How mothers can pump and then store milk

WIC clients learn all these things and much more.

Referral to Outside Agencies

WIC does a lot, but when there is a service they cannot provide they refer to outside agencies. Here are situations/agencies that WIC refers out to:

  • Early Childhood Intervention
  • Food Pantries
  • Job Banks
  • Drug and alcohol abuse programs
  • Medicaid
  • SNAP
  • TANF
  • Child health insurance
  • Childcare
  • Child support enforcement

What Are The Eligibility Requirements For WIC?

To apply for WIC in Houston there are a number of different eligibility requirements for clients. Those requirements fall into the following categories:

  • Situational Requirements
  • Residential Requirements
  • Income Requirements
  • Nutrition Risk Requirements

Situational Requirements for WIC

WIC was created to provide assistance to women, infants and children. The following points further explain how each situation qualifies you for services:

Women

  • Pregnant – Women who are eligible throughout pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after birth
  • Postpartum –  Women receive WIC services up to 6 months after the birth of the child
  • Breastfeeding – Breastfeeding mothers are eligible for WIC up until the child’s first birthday

Infants

  • Infants – They are eligible for WIC until the first birthday.

Children

  • Children – The can receive WIC benefits up until the age of 5 years old.

Note: Fathers, step-parents, guardians and foster parents can all potentially qualify for WIC services.

Residential Requirements for WIC

Another set of guidelines used to determine eligibility are residential requirements.

This means that you must live in the area of the WIC office that you are applying with.

If you live in Harris County you will have to apply at your local WIC office in Harris County, not Galveston, Fort Bend, or Montgomery County.

If you have recently moved to an area you are potentially eligible for WIC on day one. There is not a specific amount of time that you must live in a certain area to receive WIC.

Income Requirements for WIC

Under the WIC income requirements, there are two ways to become eligible.

  • Fall below the Income Standard
  • Meet Automatic Income Eligibility

We will explain the different next.

Income Standard

The Income Standard asks that your household make less than a specified amount of money to qualify for WIC services.  That amount is less than 185% of the Federal Poverty Income Level (FPL).

Math has NEVER been our strong suit so if you are interested in knowing where you fall on the Federal Poverty Income Level us the link below to access an FPL Calculator:

Federal Poverty Income Level Calculator

FPL  Calculator

Texas WIC Income Guideline Table

The table below provides you with income limits that you must fall below to receive WIC in the state of Texas.

Family SizeWeekly IncomeBi-Weekly IncomeTwice MonthlyMonthlyAnnual Income
1$423$846$916$1,832$21,978
2$570$1,140$1,235$2,470$29,637
3$781$1,435$1,554$3,108$37,296
4$865$1,730$1,874$3,747$44,955
5$1,012$2,024$2,193$4,385$52,614
6$1,160$2,319 $2,512 $5,023 $60,273
7$1,307 $2,614 $2,832 $5,663 $67,951

Automatic Enrollment

A much easier way to tell if you qualify for WIC is if you receive any of the following services:

  • SNAP (food stamps)
  • Medicaid
  • TANF (welfare)

If you receive any of the services above you qualify for WIC services.

Nutrition Risk Requirements for WIC

If you are a “nutrition risk” you could qualify for WIC.

During the initial health and diet screening clients have their height and weight measured, plus give blood work.

These procedures, in addition to the initial interview, indicate whether you are a nutrition risk.

There are two types of nutrition risks:

  • Medically-based
  • Diet-based

Medically-Based Nutrition Risk

Examples of medically-based nutrition risks would be a history of poor pregnancy outcomes, being underweight and anemia.

Diet-Based Nutrition Risk

Poor eating habits can make you a nutrition risk.

Whether you are a medical or diet nutrition risk, WIC will help you. They are staffed by Counselor and Nutritionist who can help you with education and recommendations on improving your diet.

Is WIC Free?  

Yes, whether you are taking an educational class or receiving formula all WIC services are FREE.

How To Apply For WIC In Houston

To apply for WIC in Houston you first need to schedule an appointment.

You have two options for scheduling an appointment:

  • Call your local WIC clinic
  • Visit your local WIC clinic

We’ll explain more on these options next.

Call your local WIC in Houston 

If you wish to call a WIC clinic,  below are two numbers to help you find the closest location:

  • City of Houston WIC clinics – If you live within Houston city limits contact the Houston Health Department at 832.393.5427. The Houston Health Department manages the WIC clinics inside Houston city limits.
  • Texas WIC clinics – If you stay in a surrounding county to Houston or anywhere else inside the state call 800.942.3678 or 877.341.4491.

When you call either number simply request a WIC appointment and you will be given a date and time to visit a clinic and apply.

Visit your local WIC in Houston 

A walk-in is another way that you can schedule an appointment.

WIC clinics are typically very busy throughout the day although on rare occasions you can walk-in to a clinic and be assessed the same day. Again this is rare. 

Although you can walk-in to a WIC clinic and schedule an appointment, you are better off calling to set up an appointment.  With walk-ins, there is no guarantee that you will be assessed or scheduled an appointment, especially if the clinic is busy the day you go as a walk-in.

Where Are The Offices For WIC In Houston?

In this section, you will find a listing of WIC offices located in the Houston area.

Typically WIC offices are managed by local health authorities. The health authorities that managed the local WIC offices here can be found below:

  • City of Houston WIC Offices
  • Harris County Public Health WIC Offices

City of Houston WIC Offices

To schedule a WIC appointment at a City of Houston office you will need to call their appointment number at 832.393.5427.

  • Northeast WIC

Northeast WIC is located at 9720 Spaulding, Houston, TX 77016.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Magnolia WIC

Magnolia WIC is located at 7037 Capitol St, Houston, TX 77011.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Northwest WIC

Northwest WIC is located at 8536 Hammerly, Houston, TX 77055.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Sunnyside WIC

Sunnyside WIC is located at 9314 Cullen, Houston, TX 77051.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Alief WIC

Alief WIC is located at 12660 Beechnut Suite 180, Houston, TX 77072.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Acres Homes WIC

Acres Homes  WIC is located at 6719 W. Montgomery, Houston, TX 77091.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Denver Harbor WIC

Denver Harbor WIC is located at 6402 Market St, Houston, TX 77020.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Northside WIC

Northside WIC is located at 8504 Schuller, Houston, TX 77093.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Airline WIC

Airline WIC is located at 5990 Airline Suite 200, Houston, TX 77076.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Southwest WIC

Southwest WIC is located at 6400 High Star, Houston, TX 77074.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • La Nueva Casa WIC

La Nueva Casa WIC is located at 1809 N. Main, Houston, TX 77009.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Braesner WIC

Braesner WIC is located at 8632 S. Braeswood, Houston, TX 77031.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Aldine WIC

Aldine WIC is located at 5198 Aldine Mail Route, Houston, TX 77039.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Sharpstown WIC

Sharpstown WIC is located at 6201 Bonhomme #330, Houston, TX 77036.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Hope WIC

Hope WIC is located at 7001 Corporate Dr #120, Houston, TX 77036.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

  • Blue Ridge WIC

Blue Ridge WIC is located at 7007 W. Fuqua Dr, Houston, TX 77489.

For more information visit their website or call them at 832.393.5427.

Harris County Public Health WIC Offices

To schedule a WIC appointment at a Harris County Public Health office you will need to call their appointment number at 713.407.5800.

  • Antoine WIC Center 

Antoine WIC is located at 5815 Antoine Drive, Houston, TX 77091.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Bear Creek WIC

Bear Creek WIC is located at 16233 Clay Road, Suite 318, Houston, TX 77084.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Decker Drive WIC Center (Baytown)

Decker Drive  WIC is located at 4128 Decker Drive, Baytown, TX 77520.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Emerald Plaza WIC Center

Emerald Plaza WIC is located at 11509 Veterans Memorial Drive, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77067.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Fallbrook WIC Center

Fallbrook WIC is located at14901 SH 249 Tomball Parkway, Suite 107, Houston, TX 77086.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Humble WIC Center

Humble WIC is located at 8950 Will Clayton Parkway, Suite A Houston, TX 77338.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Cypress Station WIC Center

Cypress Station WIC is located at 221 FM 1960 West, Suite A, Houston, TX 77090.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Shaver WIC Center

Shaver WIC is located at 152 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, TX 77504.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Scarsdale WIC Center 

Scarsdale WIC is located at 10851 Scarsdale Blvd, Suite 116, Houston, TX 77089.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Tomball WIC Center

Tomball WIC is located at 701 East Main Street, Suite #145B, Tomball, TX 77375.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

  • Southeast WIC Center 

Southeast  WIC is located at 3737 Red Bluff Road, Pasadena, TX 77503.

For more information visit their website or call them at 713.407.5800.

What Documents Are Needed For Your WIC Appointment?

In this section, we will provide you with a listing of documents you need to apply for WIC in Houston. 

1. Everyone applying for WIC is needed at the appointment

Anyone who is applying for WIC whether its mom, toddler or an infant must attend the appointment.

Note: Bring extra diapers because children must be weighed in a clean, dry diaper.

2. Identification

If you are returning to WIC, you must bring your WIC EBT card and ID for any new family member applying for services.

If you are visiting WIC for the first time all of the following are acceptable forms of ID:

  • Medicaid, SNAP, TANF letter
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security Card
  • Foster Placement Card
  • Picture I.D. (school, employee)
  • Military ID
  • Passport
  • Immunization Record
  • Birth Certificate
  • Crib card, hospital discharge papers or hospital I.D. bracelet

3. Proof of Residency

You must bring one of the following documents with your name, street address, city, state and zip code.

  • Medicaid, SNAP, TANF letter
  • Utility or credit card bill
  • Foster Placement Letter
  • Business Letter
  • Rent receipts, agreement, or letter from the landlord
  • Letter from homeless shelter

If you are living with someone and do not have any mail you must bring a letter from the individual you are living with. Have them to include their name, address, phone number and mail in there name such as a utility bill or credit card bill with their name.

Note: WIC does not accept P.O. Boxes. 

4. Proof of Income

You must show proof of income. Below are documents that WIC accepts:

  • Medicaid, SNAP, TANF (dated same month as your appointment)
  • Paycheck stubs no older than 30 days
  • Social Security benefits
  • Tax Return
  • Child Support
  • Retirement Income Statement
  • Worker’s Compensation Statement

5. Immunizations Records

If you have shot records for infants and children this is needed.

6. Social Security Numbers

Bring social security numbers for everyone in the household.

Conclusion

Avoiding unhealthy foods is an uphill battle here in Texas.

According to the Huffington Post, Texas has the second most McDonald’s restaurants of any state in the country.  1,225 restaurants if you’re wondering.

Finding ways to educate yourself to eat better is possible, but it’s extremely hard when advertisers and restaurants are all within an arm’s reach of you.

If you are overwhelmed with how to start eating healthy, that’s where WIC comes in.

As you can see WIC offers a number of FREE services to help you make better diet decisions.

While it may be easier to find a McDonald’s restaurant as opposed to a WIC location, you’ve still got to make the effort to eat better.

Obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are all very real and if you don’t believe it just take a look at your own family.  Poor eating habits and chronic health conditions could’ve been passed down to you, but with effort and commitment, you can see that the same thing doesn’t happen to your children.

To find the nearest WIC call the following numbers:

Have you struggled with poor diet in the past, but changed for the better? If so what healthy foods would you suggest someone start with? Which healthy foods do you eat on a regular basis? Tell us about it in the comments section below. 

Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 10 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans and creating easy to understand community resources on his site HoustonCaseManagers.com. To become a more saucy social worker, hop on his free email list and receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.