NBC10 - Deann Durante
NBC10's Deanna Durante reports on the confusion surrounding the use of WIC benefits. Some retailers have reportedly turned people with WIC vouchers away.
In the wake of the government shutdown, some stores in our area are refusing to take “Women, Infant and Children” vouchers. But according to state laws, even in the midst of the shutdown, those vouchers should still be approved.
In Pennsylvania alone, more than 250,000 families rely on services from the federally funded WIC program. The program provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating and breastfeeding support to low-income pregnant women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk. The food includes infant formula, milk, juice, cheese, fruits and vegetables.
A local WIC employee, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10.com that some clients have complained retailers don’t want to take vouchers, fearing they won’t get any money. Officials say the WIC program is still operational however and that they will continue to honor all existing vouchers, accept new clients and issue new vouchers.
“Grocery stores can accept WIC vouchers with confidence,” wrote a spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Public Health.
AimeeTysarczyk of the Pennsylvania Department of Health told NBC10 that retailers must accept the vouchers, no matter their concerns.
“All of our offices are open across the state and all WIC vouchers are currently valid,” Tysarczyk said.
If you have a WIC voucher that was rejected, contact your local WIC line. You can find that information here.