Pandemic leads to WIC concerns at grocery stores for some families

New London

MONTVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — Some grocery store shelves have been looking pretty bare these past few weeks as people stock up more than usual.

But if one of the items has a “WIC” next to the price or a sign that says “WIC approved” on the shelf, those are items people who are part of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children are allowed to buy with their benefits. 

If they are out of stock those families are out of luck.

“If they’re not there then, unfortunately, our families are not allowed to get the other items to supplement that,” said Kathleen Doherty-Peck, the Director of Senior and Social Services in Montville. 

She helps local families apply for the WIC program, which provides healthy food options for families.

“Infant formula and baby cereal, regular cereal, whole wheat bread, milk, eggs, things like that,” said Doherty-Peck.

On Wednesday, which is the first of the month, WIC families will get their benefits and many will head to the grocery store to try to fill up what may be bare cupboards at home. 

So if other shoppers have a choice between two kinds of cereals or other items, they can help out a WIC family by choosing the one not on the WIC list because WIC families don’t have that choice.

“It’s the community helping the community,” said Doherty-Peck.

If there is a WIC family or any family in Montville who isn’t able for any reason to get what they need at the grocery store, they can come to the Montville Senior Center which continues to try to help people out. 

Workers are holding an outdoor food pantry Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The town buildings may be closed but folks in the community can still help out by dropping off donations there or leaving WIC approved items on store shelves.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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