Frequently asked questions
These are some questions that we get asked often. If these questions & answers do not answer your question, please call our office at 828-587-8243 or 587-8223.
What happens if I run out of food or formula?
The WIC Program is considered a supplemental food and nutrition program which means the amounts of food provided help add to your diet and groceries but not meant to be everything you need. It is not possible for WIC to provide more than the maximum food or formula set by government regulations. WIC cannot give any emergency foods or formula. If you find that you or your family need more help getting food or formula, remember food stamps/EBT/SNAP benefits can be used to purchase formula and other healthy foods.
- To apply for food stamps, go to Jackson Co. DSS office, 15 Griffin St., Sylva, call 828-586-5546, or go on-line to www.epass.nc.gov Other places in Jackson County that can help provide food include:
- The Community Table, 23 Central St., Sylva (next to the Sylva pool), call 828-586-6782, or on-line at www.communitytable.org
- The Point Grocery Store Market, 4675 Little Savannah Rd, Cullowhee, or call 828-293-1458;
- United Christian Ministry, 191 Skyland Dr., Sylva, call 828-586-8228, or on-line at www.ucmhelp.com .
What if I have problems at the grocery store getting WIC foods?
WIC participants are allowed to get any approved food listed in the most up-to-date North Carolina WIC Program Shopping Guide. These guides are available from any WIC staff at any time and are updated periodically. Only grocery stores who have signed a contract with the NC WIC Program are allowed to take WIC vouchers; all WIC approved grocery stores have the NC WIC Program Shopping Guide available also. Shelf tags that show “WIC Item” or “WIC approved” are not required and may not be correct. It is best practice to refer the NC WIC Program Shopping Guide for all questions regarding what is a WIC approved food, including size and brand.
If the WIC participant, while referring to the NC WIC Program Shopping Guide, is denied a food from the Guide, a report to the WIC Director should be made. This report should include date/time of store visit, name of store employee at check out, food not allowed by store and a receipt if available. The WIC participant is encouraged to speak with a customer service employee of the store to see if an agreement can be reached. Reports from WIC participants will be kept anonymous and the store in question will be informed of the issue.
What if my vouchers have been lost, damaged, or stolen?
Lost or misplaced WIC vouchers cannot be replaced or re-issued for any reason. Vouchers that have been stolen or lost due to a fire, accident or damage may be replaced. An official report noting the loss and details has to be provided and the WIC vouchers have to be listed in the report. Damaged WIC vouchers may be replaced if the voucher number, participant name, and WIC ID number are all still readable or visible. Vouchers that cannot be read cannot be replaced.
What if I can't keep or miss my appointment?
When you cannot keep or miss your appointment there are a few things that you may do:
- The sooner you know you will be unable to keep your appointment, please call so a new appointment can be given. If you miss your appointment, please call as soon as possible to make a new appointment. The best numbers to call for a WIC appointment are 828-587-8223 and 587-8243.
- You are allowed to let a relative or other caretaker come for a WIC appointment if you send a note giving permission and the person has a valid ID.
What if I am moving to a different county or state?
WIC vouchers issued at any NC WIC program can be used anywhere in the state of North Carolina (NC). If you plan to move to another town in NC outside of Jackson Co. you can transfer your WIC benefits into that county, if desired. You can also continue to keep getting WIC in Jackson Co. if you want. WIC programs are located in every county in NC, to get more information on a specific WIC location, please call the Jackson Co. WIC staff or look online at www.nutritionnc.com and select the “county directory” tab.
If you plan to move out of NC, you can find WIC in every state, some US territories and even overseas for military families on certain military bases. To make it easier to get your WIC benefits without interruption, contact the Jackson Co. WIC staff, before moving, and ask for a Verification of Certification (VOC) card. Please remember that WIC vouchers issued by another state cannot be used in NC.
Why does it seem like no one ever answers the phone when I call the WIC office or return my message?
WIC Program staff are not to answer a phone call when another WIC participant is present and in the office. This is done to protect your privacy as well as the person being seen in the WIC office. Also, phone calls made during lunch time (12-1PM) are not answered because WIC staff usually are out to lunch during this time. Other times, WIC staff are on another phone call when your call is made; we have three (3) outside lines that ring into our office. Anyone who leaves a message does get called back, however, when calls are returned some calls are not answered, some callers do not have a voice mail box set up or the voice mail box is full which makes it impossible to leave a message. Also, when no one answers, WIC staff will leave a message when attempting to return your call.
Does WIC give breast pumps?
Yes! Three (3) types of breast pumps are available from WIC, two (2) electric style pumps and one (1) manual hand pump. Pumps can only be given after delivery, are given based on need and availability to mothers who decide to give their baby breastmilk. The mother has to be present to sign an agreement and be certified eligible for WIC. WIC participants need to discuss the pump type and need with one on the breastfeeding promotion and support staff. Ideally, an appointment will be given for the WIC participant to obtain a pump and receive instructions on its use.