South Carolina, Georgia WIC participants now have more food options amid coronavirus

South Carolina News

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Georgia WIC are providing additional food items to South Carolina and Georgia WIC participants amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Currently there is no disruption to the food distribution supply chain, however some participants have experienced food item shortages due to people purchasing more food items than normal, ” South Carolina State WIC Director Berry Kelly said. “By expanding food options on WIC approved items, our WIC families will have more flexibility and increased access to nutritious foods.”

Beginning Monday in South Carolina, and until further notice, participants will have more purchasing options for milk, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables, DHEC says.

The following changes go into effect Monday in South Carolina:

  • WIC participants can purchase 1% milk, non-fat milk, 2% milk, lactose-free 2% milk, lactose-free 1% milk, lactose-free non-fat milk, or soymilk.
  • WIC participants can purchase any fat content of yogurt (Whole, Low-fat, or Non-fat).
  • WIC participants who choose to receive Cash Value Benefits (CVB) instead of infant baby foods can purchase fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables.

Beginning Monday in Georgia and lasting through May 31, participants will have more purchasing options for eggs, milk and whole grains.

The following changes go into effect Monday in Georgia:

  • WIC participants can purchase 1% milk, non-fat milk, 2% milk, lactose-free 2% milk, lactose-free 1% milk, lactose-free non-fat milk, or soymilk.
  • WIC participants can purchase eggs of any brand and any size in dozen and half dozen packaging.
    • Exceptions: Organic, low cholesterol, free range, pasture-raised, natural cage free, cage free, enriched colony, vegetarian fed, and added Omega 3
  • WIC participants can purchase any brand of bread in packaging up to 24 ounces and any pasta tortillas and brown rice in packing up to 16 ounces.

In March, WIC expanded food items that participants could purchase at stores where supplies were running low and began offering 100% of WIC nutritional services over the phone in early April.

“Year-round, our WIC program is focused on helping pregnant women, infants and children eat healthy, nutritious meals,” Kelly said. “Unique circumstances, like COVID-19 have challenged us to find new and creative ways to continue providing services and nutritious foods to our state’s WIC participants.”

Officials are encouraging families who are experiencing loss of income related to the coronavirus to apply to the WIC program. Since March, more than 4,000 new participants have enrolled. To apply for WIC, call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment.

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