POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County WIC office announced it will begin delivering services remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak.
All WIC clients can conduct remote certifications and benefit issuance by phone, which began Monday and will continue until further notice. Outreach Collaborator Shannon Hedrick said this is to protect the health of participants and staff and to practice social distancing guidelines.
Hedrick said there are a few occasions when families need to come into the office to pick up or exchange some items and benefits.
“We definitely are seeing more people and we are still getting referrals, which is great,” Nicole Gaines, WIC supervisor said. “We want everyone to know that we are open for business and we’re still welcoming new people to the program like always. We’re handing the new people just like we do our current clients. We’re taking their information over the phone and gathering the required documentation through email so that we can get them set up on the program and issue benefits as soon as possible.”
WIC provides benefits to women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum, along with infants up to their first birthday and children through 5 years old.
“You have to qualify base on your income, so and active West Virginia medical card would qualify someone,” Gaines said. “If they don’t have a medical card, we can also use a current letter of snap eligibility. If they don’t have that, we would look at pay stubs to determine the income for the household for the last 30 days.”
Hedrick also said that EBT benefits would not be canceled during the COVID-19 crisis.
To see if you and your family qualify for benefits or to ask any questions, contact the main Mid-Ohio Valley WIC office at (304) 428-3688 or the specific county office. Mason County WIC office phone number is (304) 675-5279. The Mid-Ohio Valley office services nine counties.
“I would just really encourage people to call and get correct information,” said program director Deb Dennis. “There’s been a lot of misinformation placed on Facebook about WIC and we’ve tried to respond by putting out updated Facebook information, but the best thing for them to do is call the office.”
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Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.