Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
WIC DURING COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to preserve access to the Tennessee Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which provides healthy food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and social service referrals to low-income families with young children.
WIC can counter the negative impacts of COVID-19 and provide healthy food and nutrition services that allow families to remain healthy, feed their young children and have positive outcome to their future health.
Hunger during early childhood has negative health consequences that ripple far beyond the current moment, affecting the health of Tennessee families and communities for years to come. The Tennessee Justice Center is committed to helping protect, strengthen, and improve access to the program so families are not faced with hunger.
PROGRAM CHANGES TO KNOW ABOUT
In response to CDC guidelines recommending social distancing, most WIC appointments in Tennessee are now by phone. Participants are encouraged to call 1-800-DIAL-WIC or go to www.tn.gov/wic to contact their local WIC clinic for details.
If you or someone you know is having trouble reaching your local WIC clinic due to limited phone access, limited internet access, or other barriers, please contact Signe Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The Tennessee WIC Program has implemented certain active waivers until 30 days after the end of the nationally-declared public health emergency by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under the Families First Corona Virus Response Act:
- Physical Presence Waiver: waives the requirements that certain appointments be done in-person and bloodwork performed.
- Remote Benefit Issuance Waiver: Allows benefits to be issued without fulfillment of the second nutrition education requirement.
- Food Package Substitution Waiver: In response to grocery store inventory limitations, allows for substitutions to the WIC food package.
- Minimum Stock Waiver: Waives minimum stocking requirements for fruit, vegetables, and whole grain cereals for vendor assessment and monitoring.
Waiver details can be found on USDA’s COVID-19 Waivers & Flexibilities website for Tennessee.
- Bipartisan legislation was introduced through the WIC Act to expand food aid for mothers and young children. Encourage our leaders to support this legislation! It would:
- Extend the WIC certification period to two years.
- Extend program eligibility for children from 5 years until their sixth birthday.
- Join our WIC Champions group to stay up to date on TN WIC current issues, best practices, and policy changes: Click here
- Contact Signe Anderson at email@example.com to share your WIC story: How has WIC helped you or someone you know during the pandemic? Have you faced barriers to accessing the program? Tell us about it.
- Maximize WIC’s role in supporting Health, Food Security and Safety: https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/wic-role-during-covid-19-pandemic.pdf
National WIC Association
- WIC & COVID-19: Debunking Myths
- Breastfeeding and COVID-19: Guidance
- WIC & COVID-19 Messaging Guidance
- Self-Care Resources for Frontline WIC Staff