(287801)

Since 1974, WIC has enabled WIC parents to purchase extra food, such as fruit and vegetables that they might not be able to afford otherwise.

“We are really excited that the CA WIC Card has just arrived. Our WIC families are too,” Diane Gaspard, Chief of Community Health Services at South Los Angeles Health Projects, said. “This is a big step for WIC parents. The WIC Card will make shopping much easier. The WIC Card works like a debit card. Checking out at the market will be simple and quick.”

Each food package will remain the same as it regularly has been, but there are other changes.

“In the past, parents needed to purchase all the food for a month at one time. Now they can buy as much or as little as they want at any one time,” Gaspard said.

Those who want to learn if they are eligible for WIC can read about eligibility at https://wicforyou.org/eligible-for-wic/ or phone (310) 661-3080 for more information.

“There’s a free WIC app that parents with a smart phone can download from their phones’ app stores, Gaspard said. “It’s not necessary to use an app, but it’s helpful. All they need to do is search for “California WIC” to download it. Once parents have their CA WIC Card, they will be able to access the app’s special features. For example, they will be able to keep track of what they’ve already bought and which foods they haven’t bought yet.”

Each time parents make a purchase, they will be able to see their food balance. They can see this at the market on their receipt. Or they can ask for a printout of their food balance at their local WIC Center.

The 11 WIC Centers managed by South Los Angeles Health Projects are located in South Los Angeles on Central Avenue, Figueroa Street, Florence Avenue, and Manchester Avenue, and in Bell Gardens, Compton, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Paramount, and South Gate. Addresses can be found by visiting https://.wicforyou.org.

“WIC is doing everything we can to make it simple for our parents to learn the new system,” Gaspard said. “For example, we are giving a special class at our WIC Centers. We have extra WIC Card information on our website, www.wicforyou.org. People can also learn more by visiting www.myfamily.wic.ca.gov and playing the ‘Your California WIC Card’ video in the top left corner.”

Parents will receive a special phone number for WIC Card Support, where a staff member will provide assistance 24 hours a day, seven days per week. WIC parents can also request an appointment by phoning (310) 661-3080.

“We ask that people coming for an appointment allow extra time, more time than usual,” Gaspard said. “WIC provides so many benefits. Our parents take part in one-on-one counseling sessions about health and nutrition with well-trained nutrition assistants. Pregnant women are taught about breastfeeding and can take part in a breastfeeding support group. We have a breastfeeding helpline, and provide excellent breast pumps to eligible women. We guide parents to make sure their children receive the shots they need. Our dietitians meet with pregnant women and families who have special health challenges. We hold classes on many topics. And we give parents referrals to assistance in the community.”

For more information, phone (310) 661-3080 or