WIC activates disaster procedures to help storm victims

WIC activates disaster procedures to help storm victims

The Texas Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) at Driscoll Children’s Hospital is prepared to help Coastal Bend mothers and children who may have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“We want to do all we can to make this difficult time easier on mothers and their young children,” said Dalia Aguilar, WIC Director at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. Statewide, the Texas Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is implementing special procedures in the wake of the unprecedented flooding due to Hurricane Harvey.

“The special procedures will allow people to easily enroll and receive food and infant formula benefits, breast-feeding support, and referrals for shelter and other resources,” said Aguilar.

Disaster victims will be asked to sign a self-declaration form declaring their need for WIC benefits due to Hurricane Harvey.

WIC benefits are available for pregnant women, women who’ve recently had a child, and infants and children under the age of five. Anyone with custody or guardianship of infants and children under five can apply for their child.

If a WIC client evacuated and left behind her WIC card, food or formula benefits, she can go to an open clinic and get a replacement.

Many clinics across the state and in areas that were affected by the storm are now open including the City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County, Harris County and the City of Houston, and San Patricio County. WIC staff is continually working to reopen more clinics.

To find the nearest WIC clinic visit TexasWIC.org or call 1-800-942-3678. If you are in an area that has ongoing flooding or damage, some of the nearby clinics may be closed. Please call 1-800-942-3678 during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and press option 3 to speak with an operator to find the closest open location.

Mothers needing breast-feeding assistance should call WIC’s lactation support hotline, 1-855-550-6667. New mothers who are stranded and have run out of formula and/or safe water also can call the lactation hotline for help with breast-feeding. Lactation consultants answer this line 24 hours a day.

If you are interested in signing up for WIC or are a current client in need of benefits, contact the Driscoll Children’s Hospital WIC office at 361-694-6767.