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Every month, more than 130,000 Missourians participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, commonly known as WIC. The program provides nutrition information and food assistance to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to five years of age.

In Missouri, 42 percent of all the live births recorded from 2000 to 2005 were to mothers receiving WIC services to improve the birth outcome for themselves and their babies. The percentage of babies receiving WIC services during their first year of life increased to 55 percent of all infants born in Missouri.