AUSTIN, TX —The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, serving nearly 23,000 clients monthly in Travis County and Bastrop County and offering nutrition assistance and education, health care referrals for low income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and infants and children up to age five deemed to be at nutritional risk, continues to provide assistance to programs’ participants amid the coronavirus, or COVID-19 public health crisis.
Texas Health and Human Services (THHS) recently expanded the Austin Public Health (APH) program to ensure those who need access to nutritious food are able to find it at their local grocery stores.
“COVID-19 has led to some adverse effects due to people buying products in bulk, resulting in empty shelves and limited product availability for our WIC participants,” said Annette Phinney, APH WIC Program Director. “Everyone should have access to healthy food, and the expansion of WIC-approved products is helping many mothers and children achieve this access.”
The expanded program now offers WIC participants more purchasing options for items such as milk, bread, rice, pasta, and eggs, with canned fruits and vegetables having been added to the food package.
Grocery store items with a pink sticker indicating “WIC Approved” are eligible products for shoppers to purchase using WIC, and WIC participants have the entire month to purchase the foods on their WIC shopping list.
In an effort to keep clients and staff safe, the APH WIC program announced modified services, with WIC staff providing alternative service models for disseminating assistance and distributing benefits.
Current clients can e-mail WICHelp@AustinTexas.gov if they need benefits or have questions. Prospective clients can start a WIC application at TexasWIC.org/Apply. For more information, visit TexasWIC.org/About-WIC/Special-WIC-Food-Updates.