During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kansas WIC program will continue to operate. WIC is the nutrition program for low-income pregnant women, infants, and children from birth to age five, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
All current Kansas WIC participants will continue to receive benefits, and new applicants will be assessed, certified and issued benefits. Using telephone, computer and other technology, local clinic staff will be able to assess and certify applicants for eligibility and issue food benefits remotely to those determined eligible.
Typically, WIC participants and applicants of the program must be physically present to receive services. The USDA physical presence waiver is effective Monday, March 23 and expires May 31, 2020, or until extended. The waiver applies to areas impacted by WIC clinic closures and stay at home orders as well as to persons who are under quarantine, whether voluntary or involuntary.
Clinic operating hours and staff availability will be subject to local and state orders related to the pandemic. Applicants and current participants should contact their local WIC clinic to find out what options are available. Clinic locations are available online at: www.kansaswic.org/families/WIC_county_map.html. Contact your local health department for information on the nearest WIC clinic if you do not have access to the Internet.
More information about Kansas WIC:
The Kansas WIC program provides services to an average of 47,000 program participants each month. The program is administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment through contracts with county health departments and three community health centers. There are 120 WIC clinics in Kansas where potentially eligible participants may apply for services. There are 359 stores in Kansas authorized to provide WIC foods to clients.
WIC services include providing supplemental food benefits, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and social services. Currently, each woman and child receive healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables with a retail value of about $37 per month and about $41 per month respectively. Infants who are not breastfed and receive infant formula receive infant formula with a retail value of approximately $152 per month.
Food benefits are purchased at approved grocery stores using an e-WIC card. The physical presence waiver allows eWIC cards and program information to be issued to participants through a controlled physical pick up, such as a curbside pick-up process or cards and information may be mailed directly to participants. Local clinics will determine the most appropriate way to issue materials based on staffing and logistical resources.
Information about the Kansas WIC program is located online at www.kansaswic.org.