Under normal circumstances, WIC would schedule in-person appointments with individuals looking to sign up. Right now, WIC clinics are still open and offering those appointments over the phone. To schedule an appointment, you’ll just need to call your local clinic or sign up here.
Right now, federal WIC regulations require that a WIC purchase be made with a cashier in a store. Even if these federal regulations were temporarily waived, the technology and procedures, unfortunately, do not exist to conduct a WIC transaction outside of a store. The WIC purchases require multiple computer systems to talk to each other to check if a food item is on the WIC approved list and to enter a PIN at the time of purchase.
We know this may pose challenges for our WIC shoppers. If you feel you shouldn’t go grocery shopping, take care of yourself and give your shopping list and card to another trusted shopper. Also, remember that self-checkout is an option at Copps, Pick n Save, Meijer, MetroMart and Walmart for a quicker, and more socially distant checkout.
We also recommend shopping during non-peak times, such as early in the morning, when you may come into contact with fewer people. This also increases your chances of finding more WIC-approved foods in stock and available for purchase.
WIC is speaking with manufacturers and food distributors’ representatives to monitor WIC food availability and analyzing food redemption information to determine which WIC approved foods are being purchased during this time. As of now, WIC has not received any notifications that there are shortages of WIC foods. Shelves at the grocery store may be empty due to the increased demand during this time. But they will be restocked!
Wisconsin WIC has also been approved by the USDA for temporary food waivers to allow participants to buy a larger variety of brands and package sizes until the end of May. More choices are available for whole wheat bread, 48 oz. juice and tofu. If one of your go-to WIC foods is not available, use the WICApp to do a food search or scan a similar item to see if it is approved. A list of temporarily approved foods was also texted to families recently.
In most cases, in order to determine whether or not a person is eligible, WIC looks at their income over the LAST 30 days. However, in cases of recent unemployment, WIC looks at their expected income over the NEXT 30 days. So in short, if you’re recently unemployed, there’s no need to wait to apply for WIC!
We want to ensure all of our WIC participants that their benefits are valid, and their e-WIC card will not be locked. We are not planning to make any changes to the way benefits are distributed. If participants have questions about their individual benefits, they can contact their local clinic for assistance.
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses. COVID-19 has not been detected in breast milk. So yes, breastfeed! If you’re breastfeeding and you become ill, it’s important not to interrupt nursing. The baby has already been exposed to the virus and will benefit the most from continued breastfeeding.
Homemade formula is not safe for your baby, so we’re urging parents NOT to try and make their own. We’ve been told warehouses are fully stocked with formula and grocery stores are just waiting for their normal shipments to come in.
If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about how COVID-19 may affect your delivery and hospital stay. Some hospitals are limiting women to one support person, such as a partner or doula. Knowing in advance can help you prepare! WIC is here to support you during both pre and post-delivery. Reach out to your local WIC clinic with any questions or concerns.
With schools closed, kids are learning virtually, and some parents are working from home while trying to help their kids transition to this new style of learning. There are also parents of young children who aren’t in school yet, and those parents need to find ways to keep their little ones busy while they try to get their own work done. It’s a lot to handle! This is new for everyone, and navigating this new normal can be exhausting. One way to set yourself up for success is to set an agenda for the day and stick to it as best you can. Schedule things like reading time, art time, and lunchtime so your kids know what to expect. If you have little ones who are learning virtually, make sure to block off time in the day for them to get their schoolwork done – that’s a great time to get your work done, too!
It’s also helpful to take breaks to get outside and get active! Try to schedule a little time in the morning or afternoon to let your kids burn off some energy as the weather gets nicer. Not only is it helpful for them, but you’ll also probably buy yourself a little extra afternoon work time if they’ve been able to get some of the wiggles out!