Division Of Public Health Launches New Delaware WIC Educational Website

DOVER, DE (June 1, 2022) – The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the launch of Delaware WIC’s new educational website.

The website includes information on nutrition, breastfeeding, and WIC’s programming for families, covering all stages of pregnancy, postpartum, infancy and children up to five years of age. It currently includes a link to information and contact numbers related to the baby formula shortage. The site can be accessed at Delaware.WICresources.org.

WIC, also known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant and Children, is a federal nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well and learn about nutrition.

WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, breastfeeding support, referrals to health care, welfare and social services, and nutrition education.

The new Delaware WIC site provides evidence-based information on breastfeeding, nutritional feeding practices, and information for expectant mothers and fathers.

The website also features information on the Delaware WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program which begins June 1 and ends October 31. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program materials, located on the site, guide participants on how and where to redeem their one-time $30 nutrition coupon provided by the program.

“Delaware is fully committed to the health and well-being of our residents, particularly our children,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Good health starts with good nutrition. The launch of the Delaware WIC website is happening at a time when it is needed the most. Families can learn how to access healthy foods at Delaware’s farmers’ markets, and they can also get up-to-date information on WIC and its related programs, including information on breastfeeding and infant formula.”

The new website marks a pivotal change in how Delaware WIC provides nutrition education materials. During the pandemic, WIC pivoted from an in-person service provider to offering services virtually. The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique opportunities to provide WIC services to at-risk women, infants and children who may not have participated in WIC before. Waivers permitted WIC to deliver benefits remotely and offered opportunities for nutrition education and breastfeeding support virtually to WIC families. Participants have fully embraced this new model of delivering WIC services to the community.

WIC is one of the nation’s largest federal nutrition programs, serving approximately 6.3 million people nationally, including about half of all infants born in the United States. WIC supports the short- and long-term health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age 5.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the Delaware WIC program served 17,199 participants, including 9,107 participants in New Castle County, 4,353 in Kent County and 3,739 in Sussex County.

Delawareans are encouraged to visit Delaware.WICresources.org or follow Delaware WIC on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube where they will find information on Delaware WIC’s programs and healthy recipes using WIC-approved ingredients.

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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.


DPH Offers Guidance And Resources On How To Navigate The Infant Formula Supply Shortage

DOVER (May 17, 2022)  The Division of Public Health (DPH) is providing guidance to families struggling to find formula due to a shortage caused by a supply chain issues, including avoiding taking certain measures that could be harmful to their infant’s health.

DPH sent out a letter from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau to families and maternal child health stakeholders, offering individuals information on how to safely navigate the shortages. 

Parents and caregivers are offered the following guidance:   

  •  Talk to your doctor: Families should consult their pediatrician to discuss the best options for their child. Doctors can provide guidance on comparable formula and specialized formula to meet their babies’ medical and nutrition needs. 
  • Consider a substitute formula: For most babies, it is OK to use a similar version of their formula if their regular brand of formula is not currently available. Talk with your baby’s pediatrician about alternatives.  
  • Check the manufacture’s site online for formula availability before going to a store to purchase.    

DPH reminds parents/guardians: 

  • Do not make or use homemade formula: Per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), homemade formulas often lack or have inadequate amounts of critical nutrients vital for a babies growth and development and in some cases can cause infants to be hospitalized due to low calcium. 
  • Never dilute formula: Watering down infant formula can be dangerous and even life-threatening, leading to a serious nutritional deficit and health issues. 
  • Consider a substitute formula: For most babies, if their regular brand of formula is not currently available, using a similar version of their formula is ok. Talk with your baby’s pediatrician about alternatives.  
  • If not receiving breast milk, formula should be used until your baby turns 1 year old, but if your child is over six months you can start to supplement nutrition with some solids. Talk to your pediatrician about introducing some solids like fortified cereal, mashed bananas and pureed poultry and beans. 
  • Talk to your doctor: Families should consult their pediatrician to discuss the best options for their child. Doctors can provide guidance on comparable formula and specialized formula to meet their babies’ medical and nutrition needs.  
  • Breastfeed your child: When possible, breastfeeding is the healthiest option for children under age 1. 
  • For parents who are breastfeeding or need additional support, they may want to consider a lactation consultant or support groups, or seek assistance to access a breast pump at a low cost through your insurance provider, Medicaid, or WIC to assist with milk supply. There are also breast milk banks that properly store, test and distribute donated mothers’ milk to meet the specific needs of infants for whom human milk is prescribed by physicians.  The Delaware WIC program offers breastfeeding assistance to new mothers, including peer counselors, lactation consultants and manual pumps. Details on WIC’s breastfeeding programs can be found here. 

DPH has also taken the following steps to help parents and caregivers as the supply chain issues get resolved nationwide: 

  • WIC recipients have been asked to return any unused formula to the Food Bank of Delaware or another state agency food pantries.   
  • WIC recipients also were granted a waiver to substitute formula this winter when supply chain issues that were made worse by a recall first emerged. A chart of formula alternatives was created to help parents and caregivers select the right formula for their child.   
  • Parents who are breastfeeding or need additional support may want to consider a lactation consultant or support groups, or seek assistance to access a breast pump at a low cost through their insurance provider, Medicaid, or WIC to assist with milk supply. The Delaware WIC program offers breastfeeding assistance to new mothers, including peer counselors, lactation consultants and manual pumps. Details on WIC’s breastfeeding programs can be found here.   
  • DPH reminds parents that state and community resources that could be helpful during this time are available, such as WIC, SNAP, or TANF to help with the cost of buying formula or to find other infant supplies through local food banks including the Food Bank of Delaware. DPH also offers a breastfeeding guide for mothers who want to find support or learn more about breastfeeding.

Several birth hospitals in Delaware also offer breastfeeding support and parent education. Individuals should check with their local hospital to see what services are offered.   

Delawareans are encouraged to visit dethrives.com for up-to-date information on Delaware’s response to the infant formula supply chain issues, call 211 for community resources and services near you, or follow DEThrives and DPH on Facebook and Instagram.     

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Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.   

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. 


DPH Announces Closing of Middletown WIC Offices Nov. 14, 2017

MIDDLETOWN – The Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the closure of its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program office located at the Westside Family Health Center in Middletown. The WIC office must close because Westside Family Health announced that it is closing its Middletown center as of Nov. 28, 2017. However, the last day for WIC services at that location will be Tuesday Nov. 14, 2017.

The DPH WIC program in Middletown serves approximately 350 clients. A letter informing clients of the upcoming site closure is being mailed this week. Anyone with an appointment scheduled after Nov. 14, 2017, will be seen at the Hudson State Service Center, 501 Ogletown Road, Newark, on the same date and time.

DPH staff have been providing WIC services at the Westside Family Health facility for the last three years, and is committed to working with clients to reduce any potential service disruptions. Clients who have questions, or wish to move their appointment to another WIC site, may call 302-283-7540 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.


Delaware WIC Relocates to La Red Health Center in Georgetown

DPH, La Red Health Center and USDA officials cut the ribbon on moving WIC offices to La Red.
DPH, La Red Health Center and USDA officials cut the ribbon on moving WIC offices to La Red.

GEORGETOWN – To better meet the needs of its clients, and those of Georgetown residents in general, the Delaware Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program has relocated to La Red Health Center located at 21444 Carmean Way in Georgetown. On September 28, 2017 the Division of Public Health (DPH) held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony with La Red Health Center leadership, and representatives from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Mid-Atlantic Regional Office.

WIC moved its offices from the Thurman Adams State Service Center in August after DPH and La Red Health Center acted on their shared vision to offer medical and social services under one roof for WIC clients. Now, on the same days as their quarterly appointments, WIC clients can see La Red Health Center’s primary care, chronic disease care, oral health care, and behavioral health care providers. Clients can also access Medicaid eligibility and enrollment and Screening for Life programs in that building.

“Delaware Health and Social Services strategically integrates services in communities that need them most, and at this new location, pregnant women, new mothers, and young children who are enrolled in WIC can more easily access health care and other social services,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay.

The move also overcomes transportation challenges many Georgetown residents face since so many services are now available under one roof. La Red Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides affordable care to Delawareans in need. The center also offers interpretation services, which is vitally important in facilitating client care.

“La Red Health Center offers two critical patient enabling services, interpretation and transportation, which help us overcome language and transportation barriers to care. We have interpreters and also utilize a language line to assist patients,” said Brian Olson, Chief Executive Officer for La Red Health Center. When available, we provide transportation for patients without insurance to their appointments at La Red Health Center or to the medical specialists we have referred them to for further follow-up.

This location is far more convenient than the Adams State Service Center for our clients. It is on the bus route, and the majority of our patients’ medical needs and social services can be handled under one roof. WIC clients no longer have to drive, catch a bus, or find a ride to several locations for services – saving everyone time and money. Furthermore, La Red Health Center is within walking distance to WIC vendors such as Wal-Mart and Redner’s.”

“I am pleased that WIC will be conveniently located to so many other services available at the College Park location,” stated State Representative Ruth Briggs King (R-Georgetown). “Families realize the benefit from centralized services, and Georgetown, and in particular this location, have become a hub of activity for quality health care, dental care, and related services.”

Rep. Briggs King also said, “Working families living at or below the poverty line need foods that promote growth and good health, and WIC provides healthy choices for families. Unfortunately, the need for assistance has grown in Sussex County. But, La Red and the Division of Public Health continue to be there for Sussex families, by anticipating and responding to the needs in our community.”

The WIC program serves women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum, and children and infants less than 5 years old by providing supplemental nutritious foods and supplemental formula at no cost to enrolled clients, who shop at grocery stores authorized to accept the program. WIC also provides breastfeeding support, nutrition education, and referrals to healthcare, and social services agencies. Through these services, WIC strives to promote breastfeeding as the premier source of infant nutrition, and achieve fewer premature births, higher birth weights, lower infant mortality, and improved overall health.

“We praise Delaware’s administration of the WIC program, which serves nearly 19,000 women, infants, and children statewide. WIC food packages along with the nutrition education that addresses the needs of our participants are the chief means by which WIC positively affects the dietary quality and habits of participants. Research consistently shows us that individuals who participate in WIC not only consume more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, but also that their diets have a higher Healthy Eating Index when compared to non-participants,” said Patricia Dombroski, Regional Administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Mid-Atlantic Regional Office.

For more information about WIC, including eligibility requirements, visit

http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/chca/dphwichominf01.html or call 302-424-7220 (Kent and Sussex counties) and 302-283-7540 (New Castle County).

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.