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Dallas leaders urge shoppers to avoid stockpiling WIC approved items

WIC benefits for some low-income families kick in April 1. City leaders want to make sure certain grocery items are available and on the shelves.

DALLAS — There is a push to encourage shoppers to be mindful in considering the needs of families who receive WIC benefits. Those options for certain grocery items are available at the beginning of the month, and advocates want to make sure community members keep that in mind.

The photos and the reality of finding shelves empty of specific items in grocery stores have been an unfortunate reality over the past few weeks. It has been a challenge as communities continue feeling the impact of coronavirus restrictions.

"We want to make sure that all shoppers are able to obtain the foods that they need,” said Brian Dittmeier, Senior Public Policy Counsel with National WIC Association.

The agency is part of an effort urging shoppers to be respectful and avoid stockpiling WIC approved items.

Dittmeier said, "Be mindful of folks in their neighborhood who may be accessing WIC services.”

WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children. It is a national program that provides healthy, nutritious grocery items for some low-income families at the beginning of each month. However, there are restrictions on which products and brands those shoppers can redeem in stores.

In Texas, the approved items are typically labeled with a pink sticker on the shelf near the price tag.

City of Dallas Councilman Jaime Resendez explained, “I think that it’s extremely important to send out the message that we are all in this together, and we need to take other folks’ circumstance into account.”

Resendez and Mayor Pro Tem Adam Medrano are among city leaders in Dallas who are promoting a similar county-wide message. They published posts on social media, asking residents to avoid shopping April 1-3, unless they have a critical need. City leaders expect there will be a surge of families searching for WIC approved items, especially since more children are staying at home from school right now.

Resendez said, "If we can afford to take a step back and let members of vulnerable communities get the necessary resources, then I think we should do that.”

The National WIC Association and local leaders want to make sure there’s adequate stock on the shelf for everyone. They believe it’s going to take a community effort to help make that happen.

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