WIC offering additional food options during COVID-19 crisis


This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, a wide share of Americans are at least moderately confident in U.S. health officials’ ability to handle emerging viruses, and more express concern about catching the flu than catching the new coronavirus. (NIAID-RML via AP)

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) Due to a low inventory of WIC-eligible foods among many grocery store vendors, the Women, Infant and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program is now allowing COVID-19 waivers to expand options for certain foods.

This expansion will be offered through May 31 for some food package requirements.

The foods included in the COVID-19 waiver are bread, milk and yogurt.

Any whole wheat or whole grain bread in a 16-24 ounce size is now approved.

For WIC participants issued skim/nonfat or 1% milk, the 2% option is now allowed if the store is sold out of skim/nonfat or 1% milk.

Whole milk yogurt is also temporarily allowed instead of low-fat or nonfat when the supply of low-fat or nonfat is not available.

WIC also recently expanded other choices for cheese and eggs which are now approved as new WIC foods and are part of participants’ regular food packages.

Cheese is available in 8 ounce or 16-ounce packages and can be sliced, shredded, block, snack, cubed, shaped, crumbled, strips, sticks, diced, grated or string.

Eggs now include a dozen white, brown, or any specialty including low-cholesterol, cage-free, etc. Organic foods are also approved in all categories.

The WIC Program serves as a resource for participants to receive nutrition education, breastfeeding support and services, and healthy foods.

It also serves as a referral resource for health care or other programs. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and infants/children up to age five can benefit from WIC if they meet the program eligibility requirements.

During the COVID-19 crisis, most WIC and Breastfeeding services for both new and current participants are available by phone.

Individuals, who are interested in applying for the WIC program, can apply either by phone or online:

  • To apply by phone: Call Pitt County Health Department at 252-902-2393.
  • To apply online: Visit the website.

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