‘This Week Will Be a Critical Time’: Erica Mena Encourages Fans Not to Buy Items with ‘WIC on Shelf Tag’


Erica Mena-Samuels is opening her heart to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is encouraging her fans to do the same. The ex-“Love and Hip Hop:New York” cast member recently posted a message on social media urging everyone to think of those who depend on the Women, Infants, and Children food benefits program while grocery shopping.

The model, mother, and wife recently took to Instagram to pass on an internet meme to her followers that claims that low-income families will be especially low on food resources while we all deal with shortages related to the coronavirus. “This week will be a critical time. WIC benefits come to low-income families at the first of the month and there will be a surge as these families redeem them. Many of these families’ benefits were depleted more quickly because children are staying home from school and some families are going hungry right now…”

Erica Mena WIC
Erica Mena-Samuels shares a post urging followers to think about others during this uncertain time. /Photo Credit: @iamerica_mena/Instagram

The solution she offered seemed to be met with mixed responses. “I urge everyone to avoid grocery shopping on April 1-3 unless you have a critical need,” she wrote.

Fans reacted in a variety of ways, from pointing out that WIC dates differ across the country, to appreciating that she was bringing attention to the issue at all.

“This is very thoughtful,” one follower commented. “I hope ppl did read this and allow them to get there supply. God bless. Stay safe”

“That’s sweet but they actually come in on the 15th for west coasters… they drop it in alphabetical order … so yea,” another replied.

“Love this .. think about other’s well being 😍😍,” a fan gushed.

“That is super sweet, please people think of others in this time,” said another.

“Different cities and states dispense their fund on various dates of the month,” one person noted. “While this is important to take note, check with your local government office if you want to lighten the load in the markets.”

Mena-Samuels also explained in her post that people could help out by paying careful attention to the items they purchase, to avoid depleting the shelves of products that can be purchased using WIC. “Give these families space to shop and please respect their needs by not buying items with a WIC shelf tag (look for red box with “WIC” on the shelf price tag) unless you absolutely need those specific items,” she shared. “Often there are other brands that will equally suit your needs, and when WIC items are gone the families just miss out unless the store offers a substitute.”

Erica Mena
Erica Mena. (Photo: @iamerica_mena/Instagram)

Mena-Samuels is married to rapper Safaree Samuels. The couple welcomed a their first daughter together into the world on February 3rd.

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