City officials are urging Dallasites who can afford to put off shopping for the next couple of days to stay away from grocery stores so that recipients of food assistance programs like WIC can buy the food that they need.
In a Facebook post on Monday, city council representative Adam Medrano asked that folks stay away from local grocery stores on April 1-3 unless they’re recipients of benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, commonly known as “WIC.” “WIC benefits come to low-income families at the first of the month, and there will be a surge as these families redeem them,” Medrano wrote. “Many of these families’ benefits were depleted more quickly because children are staying home from school and some families are going hungry right now.”
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Medrano also urged Dallas shoppers to avoid purchasing items that are labeled as WIC-approved on grocery store shelves during this time, because those who rely on the WIC program to feed their families are limited to a specific list of approved foods that they can buy with the benefits, including items like peanut butter, beans, canned fish, and baby formula. If those foods have already flown off the shelves because of panic-buying, it can be extremely difficult for those parents to feed their kids.
The only caveat to this request? Folks who have “critical needs,” like food and medicine, can still plan to pick up what they need.