Despite COVID-19 fears, Kansas’ WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program will continue operating, though it will be available without the physical presence of applicants. WIC, which serves low-income infants, pregnant women and children up to age 5, is a nutrition program provided by the USDA.

All current recipients of WIC will continue receiving their benefits. New applicants will be assessed, certified and issued benefits.

Through use of telephone, computer and other technology, staff at the local clinic can assess and certify applicants for eligibility and issue food benefits to those deemed eligible without applicants showing up in person.

This is a change from the usual policy, which states applicants need to be physically present to receive WIC services.

The physical presence waiver is not permanent. It was put in place Monday and will remain until May 31, at which time it may or may not be extended.

The waiver applies to areas impacted by WIC clinic closures and stay at home orders as well as to those who are under voluntary or involuntary quarantine.

Clinic operating hours and staff availability are subject to local and state orders related to COVID-19. Applicants and current participants may contact their local WIC clinic to find out what options are available. The local WIC clinic shares a building with the Geary County Health Department at 1212 W. Ash St. and can be reached by calling 785-762-5682.

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