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The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — better known as WIC — is considered to be an essential service and provides nutritious foods to pregnant women and families with children under age 5.

As with many other businesses and agencies, the program has had to impose restrictions regarding certain practices (in person visits) and relaxed others as communities struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program has a specific list of what can be purchased. For example, wheat bread is allowed and white bread isn't. Items are marked on grocery store shelves as being “WIC” items; officials are asking that customers don't hoard those items. To ensure that families have access to milk, WIC participants may now purchase 2 percent milk if 1 percent or less is not available on store shelves.

WIC officials are also encouraging those who have been laid off or had their hours cut to visit wic.fns.usda.gov/wps/pages/preScreenTool.xhtml to see if they are eligible for WIC benefits. Certification, recertification and nutrition education are available over the phone at the Pulaski County Health Department (606-679-4416).

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