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Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

Hurricane Katrina Disaster Response

Last Published: 11/20/2013

08/29/08: The disaster policies and guidance issued by FNS regarding Hurricane Katrina in 2005 are still valid and appropriate for dealing with Hurricane Gustav. However, some of the attachments (i.e., WIC food lists and sample food instruments) are State-specific and may be obsolete; please contact the individual WIC State agency directly for a current list/sample. This guidance will be updated as more information becomes available.

Hurricane Katrina Disaster Response (includes updates as of 9/13/05)

In support of President Bush’s promise to make it easier for evacuees to register and obtain benefits in any State, many WIC Program requirements have been modified. 

Key Information for Participants

  • Evacuees have been designated as special nutrition risk and therefore will receive high priority for certification.
  • Evacuees do not have to present proof of identity, residency or income if documentation is not available.
  • Evacuees will be given Verification of Certification cards to ensure continuation of benefits should they relocate to another location.
  • As a result of the relocation of Hurricane Katrina evacuees to many different area, the Louisiana and Alabama WIC State Agencies have determined that September food instruments may be accepted by any WIC-authorized vendor in any State.

Key Information for Retailers/Vendors

  • Any store that accepts the out-of-State food instrument must inform the participant that she/he must contact the WIC office in that State to get certified and receive new food instruments if she/he plans to remain in that State after September 2005.
  • If at all possible, the participant should receive the contract brand infant formula specified on the food instrument. Further, if it is not possible for the vendor to provide the brand items listed on the check, the vendor may substitute a similar item from the State’s WIC-approved food list.
  • The Louisiana or Alabama WIC State Agency is responsible for the cost of the food instrument. The out-of-State vendor should deposit the food instrument in its bank account which would charge the amount against the Louisiana or Alabama State Agency’s bank account.
  • The Mississippi WIC Program does not use food instruments that are redeemable through grocery stores; therefore, they are not covered by this policy.

Toll-free numbers for WIC State Agencies

How to apply for the WIC Program

FNS Disaster Assistance

WIC Food Lists (PDF)   Alabama    Louisiana

Sample Food Instruments (PDF)  Alabama      Louisiana

Click here for Detailed Policy Guidance for State Cooperators