WIC’s Response to COVID-19
As an essential service, WIC continues to operate during the pandemic in order to provide important and necessary services to families. In the interest of protecting the health and safety of our WIC families as well as our team members, our offices remain closed to the public until further notice.
While our offices remain closed to the public, all appointments and benefits are being provided virtually (by phone). Unless instructed by one of our staff members, please do NOT visit our office locations during this time.
We are closely monitoring updates and guidance from the CDC, and we will adjust our response as needed. This page will be updated as the situation progresses, please check back here for more information.
New to WIC
If your income has been affected by COVID-19, or if you are pregnant or have a child under age 5 and need assistance, please apply for benefits online. Men, dads, grandparents, foster parents, and caretakers are all welcome to apply for WIC benefits for their children under age 5. WIC is also not considered a part of public charge. It is safe to use and does not affect immigration status for anyone who is currently in the U.S. The WIC application process can be completed by phone, and you will receive your food benefits within a few days if you qualify.
Enrolled in WIC
In order to serve you and continue to provide your benefits in a safe, efficient, and effective manner, we ask that you do the following:
- If you DO NOT have an appointment, please text us at 91997.
- If you have MISSED your appointment, please text us at 91997.
- If you have a SCHEDULED appointment, please be available around the time of your appointment to receive a call from your WIC counselor. In addition, we ask that you are prepared to provide required paperwork during your appointment.
Your Benefits May Be Available
Due to COVID-19, benefits may be automatically added to your WIC card. Please use the California WIC App or call 844.469.3264 to check your food balance.
If benefits HAVE BEEN added to your card:
- Review your benefits balance to ensure it looks correct.
- Review your benefits start and end dates, as this may have changed.
- We will be in contact with you to schedule your next appointment.
If your benefit balance looks incorrect, or if you need to make changes to your foods, please send a text to 91997. If everything looks correct, there is no need to follow up, and you can begin using your benefits as soon as they are available to you.
If benefits HAVE NOT been added to your card:
- We will provide your benefits during your next scheduled appointment.
- If you don’t have a scheduled appointment, please text 91997.
If you have not yet received your WIC card, we can mail it to you
Send a text to 91997 with your name, mailing address, and date of birth to request your WIC card by mail. We will notify you by text when your card has been mailed and you can expect to receive it within 5 business days. Visit www.myfamily.wic.ca.govto watch a video about the new WIC card.
New WIC Food Choices
On April 7, 2020, in response to WIC authorized foods being in short supply on store shelves, WIC temporarily expanded the list of approved foods to offer a greater selection of options for families.
These options include many new brands, flavors, and package sizes. For example, additional milk sizes are being offered (quarts, half gallons, .75 gallons (96 ounces) as well as varieties of eggs (brown, organic, cage-free, etc). You can find a full list of additional food choices here. These options should be used only in the case that you are unable to find the WIC approved items available to you in your regular food benefits.
If you are unable to find the item(s) you typically purchase using your WIC benefits, we recommend using the California WIC App (available for free download in your app store) to help you confirm WIC approved foods. We hope this temporary change will help ease the shopping process for your family, and help you get the foods you need while grocery store stocking returns to normal.
For a directory of WIC-approved grocery stores that accept the WIC card, click here.
If you have a breastfeeding peer counselor, please contact them directly by phone, text or email.
Our Infant Feeding Helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at (888) 278-6455 to answer your infant feeding and baby behavior questions. We can connect you with a lactation consultant to support you and walk you through any breastfeeding challenge.
If you would like more information about breastfeeding and COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health website has up-to-date information for families.