Women's Health USA 2007
Photographs of women's faces

Population Characteristics

Women and Federal Nutrition Programs

Federal programs can provide low-income women and their families with essential help in obtaining food and income support. The Federal Food Stamp Program helps low-income individuals purchase food. In 2005, nearly 12.5 million adults participated in the Food Stamp Program; of these, almost 8.5 million (68 percent) were women. Of these women, nearly 4 million (almost half) were in the 1835 age group. Female-headed households with children make up nearly one-third of households that rely on food stamps, and represent nearly 60 percent of food stamp households with children (data not shown).

The Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) also plays an important role in serving women and families by providing supplementary nutrition during pregnancy, the postpartum period, and while breastfeeding. Most WIC participants are infants and children (75 percent); however, the program also serves nearly 2 million pregnant women and mothers, representing 25 percent of WIC participants. During the years 19922005, the number of women participating in WIC increased by 60 percent, and it continues to rise.


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Women's Health USA 2007 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2007. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.