Starting July 1, more low-income parents with young children will be eligible for food assistance.
The supplemental nutrition program Women, Infants and Children, or WIC provides certain foods to pregnant or breastfeeding moms and families with children under age five.
Tom Shanahan with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says the eligibility change is a cost-of-living adjustment, and it’s unclear how many more people in the state will be able to sign up for WIC.
There are about 44,000 Idahoans enrolled in the federally-funded program. That’s down from two years ago when more than 47,000 people were signed up.
Shanahan says the department was puzzled by the recent drop in WIC enrollees, but points to a slowly improving economy and Idaho’s declining birth rate as possible explanations.
At the same time, Idaho, like many other states, has experienced record use of
food stamp benefits. That food assistance program carries fewer enrollment restrictions.
Under the new income eligibility guidelines that take effect July 1, a family of three can have a maximum gross income of $35,317. That’s up from $34,281 for the current fiscal year.
You can get more information about the program here.