Farmers Market Program Coming Soon

WIC families in California can get checks worth $30 (three checks worth $10 each) to buy fruits and vegetables at WIC-certified farmers markets (limit one per family per year). When the program starts, PHFE WIC families can reserve their checks online and pick them up from the WIC table at the farmers market. Check back for updates about when you can reserve your checks and to see which markets we’ll be at this summer!

About WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program 2023

WIC Farmers Market Program is an annual program funded by USDA to support local farmers while helping families enjoy fresh seasonal fruits and veggies. PHFE WIC has 23,000 checks to give out this year!

The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program runs for a limited time! To make sure you don’t miss out on your free produce this summer, sign up for WIC text messages (send a text with your name and date of birth to 91997) and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Who is Eligible for Farmers Market Checks?

Only currently enrolled families can get farmers market checks. Not enrolled in WIC? Apply now! Need to renew your WIC account? Text APPT with your preferred date and time to 91997 to schedule an appointment.

Register for WIC’s Webinar on March 15!

By the end of March, millions of Californians will lose the enhanced CalFresh benefits – the CalFresh Cliff. The funds were added during the COVID pandemic to help families buy groceries, and this loss now comes as food prices are quickly rising due to inflation.

Learn how to take action to help families with children under five by immediately connecting them to WIC. The current value of the child WIC food package is approximately $75, and WIC foods are inflation-proof! Attend the webinar and get your questions answered.

Join WIC, Health Net, and L.A. Care Health Plan for a live webinar,
“Hunger will Spike in 2023: Buffer the CalFresh Benefits Cliff with WIC”

Wednesday, March 15, 2023
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Questions? Email

  • Clinicians (i.e.: MDs, PCPs, OBGYNs, NPs, RNs, MAs)
  • Case Managers, Social Workers, Community Health Works/Promotores de Salud
  • Front and back-office staff
Blanca Vargas, MPA, RDN

Senior Manager of Operations, PHFE WIC, A Program of Heluna Health

Jared Call

Senior Advocate, Nourish California

Kiran Saluja, MPH, RDN

Executive Director, PHFE WIC, A Program of Heluna Health

Tax Credits for Parents Do NOT Affect WIC Benefits

Families may qualify for cash-back tax credits worth hundreds or thousands of dollars from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), and Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) when they file their taxes. Even if you don’t normally file taxes or have low to no income, you may still qualify. Tax credits do not affect your WIC benefits.

What if I need help filing my taxes?

You may be able to get free tax help through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA is available for low-income households, people with disabilities, and taxpayers who speak limited English.

Which tax credits am I eligible for?

See the basic eligibility requirements for each tax credit below. For federal taxes, no additional form is needed to claim these credits. When filing for state taxes, families will need to fill out the California Earned Income Tax Credit Form 3514.

  • You’re between the ages of 25 and 65
  • You have worked and earned income under $57,414
  • You must have a valid Social Security Number
  • You’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien all year
  • Child must be under the age of 17
  • Qualifying child can be a son, daughter, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or their descendent
  • You’re at least 18 years old or have a qualifying child
  • You make $30,000 or less
  • You have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or a Social Security Number
  • You’re at least 18 years old or have a qualifying child
  • You make $30,000 or less
  • You have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or a Social Security Number
  • You have a child under the age of six
  • FAQs

    The amount you get depends on your household status, income and family size. For federal taxes, no additional form is needed. When filing for state taxes, you must also fill out the California Earned Income Tax Credit Form 3514.

    Californians who file their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), including undocumented Californians, can qualify for the CalEITC and YCTC. Individuals with ITINs are not eligible for federal tax credits. 

    Even if you are not required to file your taxes, you may still benefit from these tax credits, but you will need to file your taxes.

    No. Claiming tax credits will not affect the income you claim to receive public benefits. Tax credits are not considered public benefits under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services public charge rule.

    WIC and CalFresh EBT are Better Together

    By March 2023, millions of California families will experience a sudden decrease in CalFresh (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) benefits – the CalFresh Cliff. The emergency funds were previously added by the federal government in 2020 to help families buy groceries during the pandemic.

    On average, families could see a decrease of $82 in monthly benefits, and one-person households could see a loss as high as $258 each month. With the rising cost of food, families are not able to shop for as many groceries with the new amounts they will receive.

    CalFresh Families Can Apply for WIC

    CalFresh participants who are pregnant or have a child under five qualify for WIC and should participate in both programs. The WIC program does not affect immigration status, show up on credit reports or background checks, and will not hurt employment opportunities.

    Signing up for WIC is easy! Appointments are available by phone or in-person at a WIC office. Apply online, call (888) 942-2229 or text APPLY to 91997 to get started.

    Shopping for WIC foods is convenient. Families enrolled in WIC can shop for benefits the day they get the WIC card. Benefits are added onto an electronic card each month and viewable through the California WIC App.

    WIC food benefits are reliable. Rising grocery prices do not affect WIC benefits. Even if grocery prices go up, you still get the same amount of healthy foods from WIC each month.

    Find Food Assistance Programs

    Use the resources below to find additional food assistance programs near you. Families enrolled in WIC can apply for other food assistance programs and should not include their participation in WIC as part of their income. For families who do not qualify for WIC, you may be eligible for a different program below. If your income or family size changes, call or text us to reapply!

    211 Food Finder
    Find local groceries, food pantries, food benefit programs, farmers markets, child/youth nutrition, senior food needs, and meals.  

    CalFresh, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides monthly food benefits to low-income individuals and families.

    Comprehensive Housing Information & Referrals for People (CHIRP) Food Bank Guide
    A list of over 120 food banks throughout Los Angeles county.

    Department of Public Social Services (DPSS)
    Find various food benefit programs and other ways to access food benefits.

    Food Oasis Los Angeles
    Find food pantries and meal programs in Los Angeles. Search by address or zip code to find free food nearest you.

    Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Finder
    Los Angeles Regional Food Bank distributes food and other essentials to children, seniors, families, and individuals in need. Find your local food pantry.

    USDA Summer Meals for Kids
    Children up to age 18 who receive free or reduced-price meals school meals can get the nutrition they need when schools are closed. Find nearby meal sites during the summer months. 

    211 Orange County
    Find local food banks, meal delivery programs, and food assistance programs in Orange County.

    CalFresh, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provides monthly food benefits to low-income individuals and families.

    Orange County Free Food Map
    A list of local soup kitchens, food pantries, free meals, and more. Search by City or Zip Code to find free food nearest you.

    USDA Summer Meals for Kids
    Children up to age 18 who receive free or reduced-price meals school meals can get the nutrition they need when schools are closed. Find nearby meal sites during the summer months. 

    Join a Breastfeeding Support Group Online!

    WIC is here to support you and your goals for feeding your baby. Pregnant and breastfeeding families are invited to join breastfeeding support groups on Zoom to connect and learn with other parents. Support groups are offered in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Armenian.

    See our upcoming breastfeeding support groups below. Click the ‘Join now’ button on the day and time of the support group to connect on Zoom. See you there!

    WIC sẵn sàng hỗ trợ bạn và mục tiêu nuôi con bằng sữa mẹ của bạn. WIC mời các phụ nữ đang mang thai và các gia đình đang cho con bú sữa mẹ tham gia nhóm hỗ trợ nuôi con bằng sữa mẹ trên Zoom để kết nối và học hỏi với các bậc cha mẹ khác.

    Nhấp vào nút 'Tham gia ngay' vào ngày và giờ của nhóm hỗ trợ để kết nối trên Zoom


    WIC está aquí para apoyarla a usted y sus metas para alimentar a su bebé. Familias esperando un bebé o amamantando son invitadas a unirse a los grupos de apoyo a la lactancia en Zoom para conectarse y aprender con otros padres.

    Haga clic en el botón '¡Únase ahora!' el día y la hora del grupo de apoyo que quiera para conectarse en Zoom.


    Currently pregnant or just had a baby and looking for breastfeeding support? Join WIC's Virtual Breastfeeding Support Group on Zoom!

    Click the 'Join now' button below on the day and time of the support group to connect on Zoom. See you there!


    WIC 在这里为您和您的宝宝提供母乳喂养的支持。我们邀请怀孕和母乳喂养的家庭加入 Zoom 上的母乳喂养支持小组,与其他家长一起讨论和学习关于母乳喂养的要点。

    在小组活动当天只需点击'立即加入Join now' 键即可在Zoom上连接。到时候见!


    WIC-ն այստեղ է օժանդակելու ձեզ՝ երեխայի կերակրման ձեր նպատակներին։ Հղի և կրծքով կերակրող ընտանիքները հրավիրվում են Zoom-ի միջով միանալու կրծքով կերակրման աջակցության խմբակին՝ հաղորդակցվելու և սովորելու այլ ծնողների հետ։

    Սեղմեք Zoom-ի 'Միացիր հիմա' կոճակը՝ աջակցության խմբակին միանալու օրը և ժամին։ Կտեսնեմ ձեզ այնտեղ!


    Four Farmers Markets in LA Accept the WIC Card

    Families can now use their WIC Card at three local farmers markets in LA County! Shop for fresh produce at Culver City Farmers Market, La Cienega Farmers Market, and Echo Park Farmers Market.

    Culver City and La Cienega Farmers Market

    How to use your WIC Card:

    1. Go to the info booth to swipe your WIC card for the amount you want to spend
    2. Get paper scrips for the amount you asked to use
    3. Shop for fruits and vegetables from the vendors – all scrips must be used same day!

    $10 Bonus

    Spend at least $10 of your fruit and vegetable benefit to receive an additional $10 while supplies last.

    Echo Park and Central Avenue Farmers Market

    How to use your WIC Card:

    1. Visit the info booth to find out which vendors accept WIC cards
    2. Spend your benefits with those vendors

    $10 Bonus

    Bring your receipt back to the info booth to get an extra $10 to purchase fresh fruits and veggies while supplies last.

    The WIC card and scrips can be used to shop for fruits and vegetables. They cannot be used to buy other WIC foods such as eggs or bread. Go to the info booth to swipe your WIC card and receive paper scrips you can use to shop at the farmers market. 

    No! For Culver City Farmers Market and La Cienega Farmers Market, all scrips must be spent the same day they are given. Once you swipe your card for the amount you would like to use, it cannot be added back to your WIC card. 

    The WIC Card is currently accepted at Culver City, La Cienega, Echo Park, and Crenshaw Farmers Markets only. You will not be able to shop at a different market in Los Angeles County using your WIC Card. 

    It’s an Egg-cellent Time to Shop With WIC

    Egg prices are rising, but using your WIC benefits can make grocery shopping easier! There is an egg shortage due to the avian flu and higher costs to produce them. Even though prices are increasing, your WIC benefits stay the same each month. Every WIC participant over the age of one receives one dozen eggs, and fully breastfeeding parents receive two dozen eggs every month.

    Check your WIC food balance regularly, and remember to shop for your foods before the benefits end date!

    Where can I shop for eggs with my WIC benefits?

    Stores that accept WIC will have a WIC logo on the front window. Use the WIC Grocers section in the California WIC App to see which stores near you accept WIC. If eggs are hard to find at large grocery stores, try shopping at smaller WIC-only stores.

    What type of eggs can I buy with my WIC benefits?

    Can Buy

    • Any brand of chicken eggs
    • Dozen-size carton
    • Large, white, cage-free

    Cannot Buy

    • Any other size, type, or color of eggs
    • Powdered or liquid eggs
    • Specialty eggs such as organic, vitamin-enriched, pastured, low cholesterol, or DHA-enriched

    Not enrolled for WIC? Apply now!
    Need to renew your WIC account? Text APPT with your preferred date and time to 91997 to schedule an appointment.

    PHFE WIC’s Kiran Saluja Recognized for Breastfeeding Advocacy

    Congratulations to Kiran Saluja, MPH, RDN, the Executive Director at PHFE WIC who recently received the Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research (CHEER) 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award! CHEER recognizes and honors her lifelong dedication and achievements in breastfeeding advocacy.

    Throughout her career, Kiran has been committed to the health and nutrition of parents, infants, and children. Her passion and advocacy for breastfeeding stemmed from her own personal inability to breastfeed her first daughter when she was misinformed by hospital professionals. Through WIC, she now helps educate, support, and advocate for women who want to breastfeed and have faced similar situations.

    She has served on several committees, including the Board of the National WIC Association (NWA) and even served as Board Chair in 2012. Kiran represented the NWA in 2010 before the U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee which resulted in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. She has also supported the USDA WIC Breastfeeding Social Marketing campaign at the Institute of Medicine, now known as the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, in 2011.

    Her most memorable achievements are speaking before Congress, co-founding Breastfeed LA, breastfeeding her own children, and supporting her own daughters with exclusive breastfeeding. Kiran enjoys spending her time with her husband of 42 years, three daughters, and two sets of twin grandchildren. She also enjoys time with friends, walking, cooking, and listening to audiobooks.

    Congratulations to Kiran for all the advocacy towards breastfeeding and sharing her vision!

    “Breastfeeding should be the default for all moms and especially WIC moms. The education and support necessary to make this happen must be prioritized while at the same time the facts about the mediocrity of formula should be well understood. I am proud of the strides made by the WIC program and know that we have a LOT MORE work ahead of us.” – Kiran Saluja

    Join CHEER for a virtual celebration in March 2023! The official date will be announced soon.

    Keep Your Food Safe During Power Outages

    If you’re experiencing a power outage, some refrigerated or frozen foods may still be safe to eat. Keep your food safe to prevent foodborne illness. The health risk is higher for pregnant people and young children.

    How do I keep food safe during a power outage?

    • Keep appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer and keep the doors closed.
    • Most refrigerated foods will stay cold for about four hours.
    • A full freezer will keep most food frozen for two days, and a half-full freezer will keep them frozen for one day.

    How should I store breastmilk or formula?

    • Pumped breastmilk can be refrigerated for up to four days or stored at room temperature for four hours.
    • Infant formula can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours and should be used within two hours of taking it out of the refrigerator.

    When is my food safe to eat?

    Use appliance thermometers in your refrigerator and freezer to know that your food is safe to eat. Your food is safe if:

    • Your refrigerator temperature is at or below forty degrees Fahrenheit
    • Your freezer temperature is at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit

    When should I throw out my food?

    Never taste food to decide if it is safe to eat. When in doubt, throw it out! Throw food out when:

    • The temperature inside your refrigerator is above forty degrees Fahrenheit for four hours or more.
    • Perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or leftovers has been inside the refrigerator for four hours without power.
    • Food has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

    WIC Families Buy More With the WIC Bump

    WIC families receive a cash value (CVB) for fruits and vegetables as part of their WIC food package each month. Since June 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved an increase to the amount families receive for pregnant and postpartum parents and children over the age of one – the “WIC Bump.”

    Average number of different fruit and vegetable types redeemed by CVB amount

    A recent study by PHFE WIC’s Research Team showed that the CVB increase resulted in a larger variety and amount of fruits and vegetables redeemed. The current increased fruits and vegetables benefit is approved through September 2023.

    Families can shop for fresh, dried, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables in any brand, type, or combination, including organic with their WIC benefits.

    Read the full data brief on the study completed by PHFE WIC’s Research Team here.

    Severe Weather and WIC

    California Department of Public Health sent a text message to WIC families saying, “CA WIC: due to the bad weather we are having, your WIC benefits may be affected in some areas. Call your WIC office or 1-800-852-5779 for questions.”

    Benefits may already be available on your WIC card. Check the food balance screen of the CA WIC app, for questions text 91997.

    Appointments are available by phone. Contact your local office or text us at 91997 to schedule an appointment.  

    WIC Foods Are Getting Better

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to change the WIC food package for the first time in over ten years. Some changes proposed include the following:

    • keep the increased fruit and vegetable benefit,
    • offer more options for whole grains,
    • add seafood to children, pregnant and postpartum packages,
    • and offer more substitutions for all food packages.

    The new changes would also allow families to shop for different sizes for all food categories (except infant formula).

    How could the food package change?

    • The increased fruits and vegetables benefit that families are receiving would be permanent.
    • Families could purchase fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley with their fruit and vegetable benefit.
    • Participants could choose less juice and more fruits and vegetable benefits.
    • WIC stores would be required to have at least three different forms of vegetables.
    • Seafood would be added to children over two, pregnant, and postpartum food packages.
    • Canned legumes would be an added option.
    • Eggs could be exchanged for legumes, peanut butter, or tofu.
    • Cultural options, including quinoa, wild rice, teff, buckwheat, corn meal, triticale, millet, amaranth, kamut, sorghum, wheat berries, tortillas with folic acid-fortified corn masa flour, whole wheat pita, English muffins, bagels, and naan would be added.
    • The amount whole grains pregnant and postpartum parents receive would increase.
    • Stronger cereal standards that add more whole grains and limit added sugars.
    • Families have more flexibility when shopping for yogurt, tofu, cheese, or milk benefits.
    • Soy based yogurts and cheeses would be allowed.
    • Parents could exchange half or all of their jarred infant fruits and vegetables for more fresh fruits and vegetables benefit.
    • Infant cereal and jarred infant food amounts would be reduced to meet the current dietary guidelines.
    • Formula could be issued in customized amounts to help support breastfeeding parents meet their goals.

    When would changes to the WIC food package happen?

    WIC food package changes would not happen immediately. The commenting period for USDA’s proposed WIC food package changes closed on February 21, 2023. The USDA will review all comments before making a final ruling. We could see changes to the WIC food package as soon as 2024.

    Thank you to our WIC participants, staff, and community partners who submitted a comment in support of the WIC food package changes.

    WIC Supports Parents Who Chestfeed

    WIC is here for parents through every step of their infant feeding journey to educate, empower, and encourage parents to reach their feeding goals.

    What is Chestfeeding?

    Chestfeeding is when a child is fed human milk from a parent’s chest. It is a term used by many transgender and nonbinary parents who may not identify with the words breastfeeding or nursing. People who identify as female may also prefer the term chestfeeding.

    What is the difference between Chestfeeding and Breastfeeding?

    Physically, chestfeeding and breastfeeding are exactly the same. Lactating parents can choose the term they are most comfortable with.

    How does WIC support people who chestfeed?

    • Chestfeeding parents qualify for WIC for up to one year after giving birth.
    • WIC educates, empowers, and encourages parents to reach their feeding goals.
    • Parents are asked how they identify their gender during enrollment.
    • Support groups are available for parents to connect with each other and share their experiences.
    • Certified Lactation Educators and Lactation Consultants are available to answer feeding questions.
    • Electric and manual pumps are provided to those who qualify and need help to reach their feeding goals.

    WIC is committed to being part of parents’ support systems by providing free phone, video, and in-person services. Contact your local WIC office or text us at 91997.

    WIC Families Received Over $590,000 of Produce this Farmers Market Season!

    The 2022 WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program wrapped up on August 13 after another successful year! Congress began the program in 1992 with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture to bring more fresh fruits and vegetables to WIC families while familiarizing them with farmers markets and supporting the local community. 

    PHFE WIC distributed farmers market checks to more than 19,000 families, totaling more than $590,000 worth of fruits and vegetables, this summer!

    Thank you to all of our community partners for spreading the word, and to farmers market managers, staff, and vendors for their support to help make this a successful season.
    • Adams & Vermont Farmers Market
    • Cerritos Farmers Market
    • Crenshaw Farmers Market
    • East Hollywood Farmers Market
    • East Los Angeles Farmers Market
    • Echo Park Farmers Market
    • Fullerton Farmers Market
    • La Cienega Farmers Market
    • Monterey Park Farmers Market
    • Pomona Valley Farmers Market
    • Rosemead Farmers Market
    • Tustin Farmers Market
    • West Covina Farmers Market
    • Wilmington Farmers Market

    The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program runs for a limited time each year, and next season starts summer 2023! To make sure you don’t miss out on your free produce, sign up for WIC text messages (send a text with your name and date of birth to 91997) and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

    PHFE WIC Connects Thousands of Kids to Books

    September 8 is International Literacy Day.

    The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established this day back in 1966. This year’s theme is Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces.

    Since July 2021, PHFE WIC has provided over 42,000 total books to 21,600 kids through the Little by Little program (funded by First 5 LA and Books for Kids – California State Grant).

    Little by Little is a school readiness program that was first launched at PHFE WIC in 2003 for children enrolled in WIC. These services are currently offered to families in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Orange County at our Washington, Indian Hill, Placentia, Chino, and Santa Ana East WIC Offices.

    The programs provide parents:

    • Informational materials for each developmental milestone
    • Books to engage with their child
    • Continued support to be their child’s first teacher

    Learn more about Little by Little and the information families receive for each milestone.

    WIC Safety Alert

    Attention WIC and CalFresh participants!

    Your safety is our priority. WIC staff will not go to your home and ask for your information. Please protect yourself from WIC Card and CalFresh EBT scams.

    Guard your information! WIC staff will only ask for confidential information during WIC appointments. We will never ask for your PIN, or photos of your WIC card or EBT card number. 

    Beware of scammers asking for a picture of your benefits card in exchange for a free phone. WIC is not associated with any free phone services. Learn how you can safely apply for a free or discounted phone with California LifeLine.

    All WIC services are by phone, online, or provided at our offices. WIC staff will not visit your home or ask for your information at any time other than your WIC appointments.

    Keep your PIN safe! Do not share your EBT card PIN with anyone, including store vendors.

    Regularly check your WIC food balance. Text 91997 or call 1-844-4MY-FAMILY to report any missing benefits.

    Text 91997 to report any suspicious WIC-related calls or interactions.