Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended essential flexibilities for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to ensure participants continue to receive the food and health support they need throughout the COVID-19 national public health emergency.
Extending these waivers allows nutritionally at-risk mothers, babies and children to use their benefits in a safe manner and enables the WIC program to operate based on local conditions throughout the pandemic.
WIC remains open to serve eligible families, with some modifications in how services are provided in response to COVID-19.
USDA’s WIC waivers allow for:
♦ Participants to be approved for WIC without being physically present in a local office;
♦ Remote issuance of benefits to any participant; and
♦ Flexibility in food package requirements, including milk, yogurt and whole wheat or whole grain bread
Additionally, people who are currently certified to participate in the WIC program will have their benefits added to their eWIC account without any further action and can use current eWIC cards for ongoing food benefits.
New applicants can apply by completing the online referral form. These modifications limit face-to-face interactions at the local WIC clinic for the safety of both beneficiaries and local administrators of the program.
Anyone who has questions, needs to update certification or who is seeking WIC services for the first time can call a local WIC office for specific guidance on how services are being provided.
The North Carolina WIC program is administered through the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and provides supplemental foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and health care referrals to more than 250,000 participants each month, including low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under five who are determined to be at nutritional risk.
Program services are provided by county health departments, community and rural health centers and community action agencies. WIC is an equal opportunity provider.
To learn more about the WIC program or to find a local WIC clinic, visit www.nutritionnc.com/mywic.