DHEC to provide additional food items to SC WIC participants

South Carolina News

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Monday they would be providing additional food items to South Carolina WIC participants in response to the high demand for nutritious foods during COVID-19.

“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.”

Starting Monday, WIC participants will have more purchasing options for milk, yogurt, fruits and vegetables.

According to the release, the following changes will go into effect:

  • 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.
  • Participants can purchase any fat content of yogurt (whole, low-fat, or non-fat)
  • Participants who choose to receive Cash Value Benefits (CVB) instead of infant baby foods can purchase fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables

Back in March, WIC expanded food items that participants could purchase at stores where supplies were running low and began offering 100 percent 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.”

According to the release, those changes were made possible with programmatic waivers issued by the USDA in response to the coronavirus and product shortages.

DHEC encourages South Carolina families who are experiencing loss of income related to COVID-19 to apply to the WIC program.

According to the release, since March more than 4,000 new participants have enrolled in South Carolina’s WIC program.

To apply, call 1-855-472-3432 to make an appointment.

For more information, visit scdhec.gov/health/wic-nutrition-program.

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