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Texas WIC New Approved Foods FY2022

Starting October 1, 2021, the Texas WIC Program will add new WIC approved foods to and remove some WIC approved foods from the Authorized Product List (APL).

Summary of Changes for FY22 (See chart below for more details.)

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Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $1.4 Billion In Summer Pandemic Food Benefits For Texas Families

August 24, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a third round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19.

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Reminder: Texas WIC Vendor Payment Temporary Closure Starts Tomorrow

Reminder: WIC Vendor Payment System Temporarily Closing - Starts August 25

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

It is that time of year when Texas WIC will transition to a new fiscal year (FY) in late August. Health and Human Services (HHS) will temporarily suspend the payment of WIC claims to close its accounting records for FY2021.

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Grocery Industry Update - August

P-EBT SNAP benefits continue to be a hot topic for our grocers.  A total of over $3.8 billion has been loaded to Lone Star Cards.  About 73% has been spent in grocery stores but SNAP customers still have about $1 billion left on their Lone Star Card. 

In addition to the P-EBT benefits, the USDA Food & Nutrition Services has approved for the Texas SNAP to increase the normal SNAP benefit to the maximum for family size for Aug.  These additional benefits began loading on to Lone Star Cards Aug. 10 – Aug 13.

Lastly the State SNAP agency has requested Summer P-EBT benefits.  If approved, the funds would be loaded onto Lone Star Cards late September.

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Grocery Industry Update - July

SNAP benefits continue to dominate the news for supermarket operators.  P-EBT funds have been loaded onto Lone Star Cards and the total is over $3.5 Billion.  A little over 50% has been spent by customers and applications for P-EBT are being approved weekly by the State Agency.  In addition, the additional benefits up to max. family size were approved for July.  These additional funds could reach $96 million.  Of note, the regular SNAP benefits are slightly less than last year and the number of families receiving regular SNAP has decreased slightly.  This is due to the fact, this time last year, we were in the middle of the pandemic and more people were unemployed.

The State Agency has made application to USDA FNS applying for summer P-EBT.  This program would compensate families who have children on free or reduced lunch during the regular school year.  If approved, these funds would be loaded onto Lone Stare Cards at the end of September.

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New WIC Approved Foods for FY22

New WIC Approved Foods for FY22

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

Starting October 1, 2021, the Texas WIC Program will add new WIC approved foods to and remove some WIC approved foods from the Authorized Product List (APL).

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Texas WIC Temporary Increase: WIC Cash Value Benefits

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, WIC participants will receive an increase of cash value benefits (CVB). This means participants will be able to purchase more fruits and vegetables at authorized Texas WIC vendors. 

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Texas WIC Update: Winter Storm Supply Issues

Winter Storm Supply Issues
Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Texas WIC appreciates our vendor community for trying to maintain business operations during the severe winter storms across Texas this week. We understand the variety of issues you are managing during these unprecedented times and we are hopeful that warmer weather in the days ahead will help correct these issues. If you anticipate long term issues related to the topics below, please notify the Vendor Management and Operations (VMO) Unit at [email protected]:
• Restocking store shelves
• Damage to your store
• Unable to restore power
• No supply deliveries

Texas WIC is ready to assist our vendor partners. Should you have any questions regarding this Vendor News Flash, please contact the VMO’s Vendor Outreach Branch at [email protected] or
1-800-252-9629. Find more WIC vendor resources on our website at bit.ly/TexasWICVendors







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Additional SNAP funding effective Jan 19

The Texas Health and Human Services agency announced additional funding for SNAP participants effective Jan. 19.  A 15% increase in SNAP benefits was a part of the recent COVID relief legislation passed by Congress.  The 15% is on top of the additional action of taking the SNAP funds to the maximum for family size.  The additional 15% will be added to Lone Star Cards between Jan. 19 and Jan. 22 depending on the County.  SNAP retailers will see increased business on the Lone Star Card. It is estimated the additional funds will be around $10 million.  In February, the additional 15% will continue but the distribution dates will be back to normal.

Federal Adjustments to Civil Money Penalties

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Recent changes to the Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Inflation Adjustment for 2020 have resulted in an increase to CMPs for the Texas WIC Program.

Effective January 1, 2021, state policy WV: 1.0 will reflect the increased maximum CMP amounts the state agency will collect from a vendor in lieu of disqualification.

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Texas WIC approves new cereals

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

The Texas WIC program is pleased to announce four new breakfast cereals will be available for WIC participants to purchase, beginning January 4, 2021.

 

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Texas WIC Policy Revisions

Policy Revisions/Summary of Changes for WV: 03.0, 05.0, & 08.0

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Texas WIC has revised the following vendor policies effective on November 1, 2020:

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TRA Remembers Joe Williams

  

Arlon Joe Williams Jr, 71, loved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on July 25, 2020 from complications of COVID 19. He joins the Great Reunion and we know the Best is yet to come for him. Joe was born in Childress, Texas on June 4, 1949 to Arlon Joe Williams Sr and Peggy Ileyn Compton Williams. He grew up in Memphis, TX and graduated from Plainview High School in 1967 and then graduated from Texas Tech University in 1971 with a BBA.
He began his career with Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries while in college and continued with them until 1992. In 1994, he entered the pinnacle of his career with a move to the Gulf Coast Retailers where he served as President of Regulatory and Member Services until their merge with Texas Retailers Association in January of 2006. He was a member of the American Leadership Forum; the Food Marketing Institute; Government Relations Committee; Food Industry Association Board of Directors; Texas Interagency Task Force; and the Texas Attorney General’s Employer Task Force. He served on the advisory board for the University of Houston’s Retailing and Consumer Science Department. In 2004, he was appointed to the Maternal, Infant, and Fetal Nutrition National Advisory Council and was made chair of the Council for 2006. He also served as the President of his community’s municipal utility district and for many years served on the Board of the non-profit organization SEARCH. One of Joe’s greatest treasures was when he was awarded the NGA Spirit of America Award July 23, 2017. The award is one of the National Grocer Association’s top honors and recognizes individuals for their dedication and service to the independent supermarket industry. Their words still ring true – “Joe was a steadfast advocate for Texas grocers with a long history of serving both the supermarket industry and consumers alike.” Joe retired from the Texas Retail Association in 2018 and was enjoying his retirement from a long and well-respected career.

Joe is survived by the love of his life Jackie Gion Williams and they celebrated their 50th anniversary in October 2018. He is also survived by his daughter, JoLeigh Williams Haupt and husband Rob Haupt and son, Jeremy Clint Williams and wife Krista C. Williams. Poppa as known by most all was the hero of his beautiful grandchildren: Haleigh Rebecca Haupt and fiancée Tyler Kendrick; Holly Renee Haupt; and Harrison Haupt. He is also survived by his adopted children and grandchildren from Norway including Ingunn Hagen and children Stian Samdal and Nora Samdal. Also included in family is Marion and Gwen Gion of Rusk, TX and all the Gion extended family. Joe is also survived by his sister, Cindy Williams McCoy and husband Terry of Sugar Land, TX and sister-in-law Susie Williams Jones and her husband Griff Jones of Odessa, TX. Nieces and nephews include Reagan Williams Whytlaw (Brian), Abby Williams Bishop (Josh) of Odessa, TX. Also included Samuel Justin McCoy (Ashley) and Kelly McCoy Rainbolt (John) of Sugar Land, TX. He and Jackie spent many a day travelling to watch football games, cheerleader events, and any other thing that was requested by Poppa’s grandchildren. All family members would often participate in his love of hunting or fishing. His love of hunting was passed on from Daddy Joe and Joe took it a step further with his deep commitment to the Executive Hunting Club. He was on the board of directors since the 1980’s and enjoyed life- long friendships there.

Joe and Jackie shared a passion for their children, grandchildren, family and Jesus Christ our Lord. They built their rock on His foundation and were tireless in their commitment to their church Christ the King Lutheran Church. Joe and Jackie served in many capacities in the church and their community. One week Joe was leading a youth group mountain climbing in the Rockies and the next week hosting a backyard barbecue for Harrison’s football team. Joe would plan and devote entire family trips to making sure family understood his love of our country and God.

We will miss this man, this legend but know he is enjoying a good round of golf now with our Heavenly family. He was preceded in death by parents Joe and Peggy Williams; brother Nick Williams and many other Heavenly family members. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests memorial contributions to the Joe Williams Scholarship Foundation at PO Box 1166 Huffman, Texas 77336, or the charity of your choice.

Joe Williams Celebration of His Life will be held:

Date: September 12, 2020
Time: 11:00am
Location: Christ the King Lutheran Church (Google Map)
                3803 West Lake Houston Parkway
                Humble, Texas 77339

New WIC Approved Foods for FY21

New WIC Approved Foods for FY21

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Starting October 1, 2020, the Texas WIC Program will add new WIC approved foods to and remove some WIC approved foods from the Authorized Product List (APL).

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Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar

Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar

Dear WIC Vendor Community,

Join us for the Texas WIC Vendor Quarterly Webinar for the latest updates.

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Extension for Substitutions to WIC Approved Foods

To support our WIC community, Texas WIC is again extending the temporary lifting of restrictions for some food categories. The flexibilities, which were previously extended through June 30, 2020, have now been extended through July 31, 2020. These flexibilities should be utilized only when prescribed food items are unavailable. The temporary WIC food substitutions are listed below.

Temporary Flexibilities Extended Through July 31, 2020

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SNAP Online Pilot Program

Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas Added to Innovative SNAP Online Pilot Program
USDA is expanding access to innovative online food purchase program

(Washington, D.C., April 21, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced approval of requests from Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas to provide online purchasing of food to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. This approval will allow the States to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date to be announced at a later time. Kentucky’s SNAP participation is over 500,000 individuals, more than 225,000 households, and totals nearly $750 million annually in federal funding. Missouri’s SNAP participation is nearly 650,000 individuals, nearly 300,000 households, and totals nearly $1 billion annually in federal funding. Texas’ SNAP participation is over 3.2 million individuals, more than 1.4 million households, and totals nearly $5 billion annually in federal funding. This announcement further demonstrates President Trump’s whole of America approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring those affected are fed.

Background:
The SNAP online pilot is currently operational in Alabama, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, and Washington State. The authorized retailers working with all pilot states are Amazon and Walmart, while Wrights Market and ShopRite are working with Alabama and New York respectively. USDA previously announced Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, North Carolina, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia would also be joining. With these 16 states, more than half of all households receiving SNAP will have access to online purchasing.

Though the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is receiving interest to expand the SNAP online pilot program, the responsibility is on state agencies, their third-party processor, and any retailers who wish to participate. To ease the process, FNS put together a simplified template for states who wish to enter the online pilot which is provided as an attachment to this letter.

USDA continues to provide significant technical assistance to interested states to ensure that plans are thorough and appropriate preliminary testing is conducted. If not done properly and judiciously, there is a risk to the State’s entire benefit system. Each State, its EBT processor and retailers present their own mix of challenges so FNS is providing customer service based on each of their specific needs.

FNS will continue to work with interested states in advancing their participation in this pilot. Until States are prepared to operate the pilot, USDA recommends States utilize other options that retailers may already provide, such as Pay at Pick-up (also known as “Click and Collect”), where SNAP cardholders can shop online and then pay for their purchase using their EBT card at pick-up. Grocery pickup is already an option that these retailers offer beyond SNAP so they are already thinking through how they can provide a safe environment to do so with the growing concerns around social distancing.

During these challenging times, FNS is working hand-in-hand with state program leadership, to provide support and guidance to adapt to the challenges of this public health emergency. USDA intends to use available program flexibilities and contingencies to continue to serve our program participants. For up to date information and to learn more about flexibilities being used in FNS nutrition programs, please visit the FNS website.

WIC/SNAP: EBT Outage Notifications

As part of continuous systems updates, the EBT-4 vendor may have planned outages.  Retailers can sign up to receive email or text message notifications about Texas EBT-4 planned outages at: 

https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXHHSC/subscriber/new

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Texas WIC Vendor Monitoring Suspended

Dear Texas WIC Vendor Community,

Due to the flexibilities around monitoring permitted by USDA, Texas WIC Vendor Management and Operations Unit (VMO) is immediately suspending the following activities:

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Coronavirus WIC Update

    The Texas Health & Human Services Commission will be publishing a Vendor News Flash in the near future regarding WIC purchases during this critical time due to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

-Suspending LEB requirements.  Retailers may sell any items in the LEB category that are on the APL and on the customers’ prescription without fear of an LEB violation (the 85% policy).

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