The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is encouraging families to use the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program (WIC), which has successfully improved maternal and child outcomes for 50 years. The WIC program helps pregnant women, new mothers, babies, and young children get a healthy start through nutrition education, nutritious foods, breastfeeding support, and referrals to community resources.  

“We are committed to making sure Minnesota families have access to food benefits and support services from the moment they find out they’re pregnant,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham. “Minnesota WIC has a high coverage rate of eligible Minnesota families, but we know more parents and young children would benefit from WIC and are not part of the program. We want every eligible family to know about the vital benefits WIC can give to their growing families and that it just takes a few minutes to apply.”  

The WIC food benefit includes milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, whole grains, cereal, peanut butter, beans and more. It also includes $26-$52 monthly for participants to buy fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables.

People participating in WIC earlier in their pregnancy are more likely to breastfeed, thanks to one-on-one breastfeeding education and support. That individualized support extends through the parent’s entire breastfeeding journey to benefit the parent and baby. Otter Tail County Public Health may also refer families to other important community resources and programs.  

Families can apply for WIC online. Pregnant women, parents—including foster parents and guardians —with an infant or child younger than age 5 can apply. Families must be income-eligible to apply and live in Minnesota. Families do not need to be a U.S. citizen to receive benefits. Families who are already participating in programs like Medical Assistance or SNAP are automatically income-eligible. Visit the webpage at for the current income guidelines.

“Otter Tail County families can access WIC services in four different Otter Tail County locations: Fergus Falls, New York Mills, Parker’s Prairie and Pelican Rapids,” said Kristi Goos, Otter Tail County Assistant Public Health Director. “Participants appreciate the ease of the WIC card to redeem their benefits and the My Minnesota WIC app to help them locate WIC participating stores as well as find allowable food items when they are shopping.”

Learn more about the Minnesota WIC program and its positive impact on families, by calling Otter Tail County Public Health at (218) 998-8324 or visiting them online at