TOPEKA, Kam. (KSNT) – The Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) is now offering families a new way to shop for WIC food benefits. The program is introducing a electronic benefit transaction card next month.
The public health nutrition program began piloting the new system in Shawnee County in September. Due to the success of the pilot, WIC families in Lyon, Chase and Coffey counties will begin receiving cards Feb. 8. Statewide rollout of the new eWIC cards will be completed by June.
“Right now, the families in our program use paper checks to buy the healthy foods WIC provides,” said Diana Moore, WIC Coordinator at Flint Hills Community Health Center. “Now, with the new eWIC card, shopping will be easier, and our families will be able to track their monthly food balance easier too.”
According to the Flint Hills Community Health Center, more than 800 women, infants and children participate in WIC in Lyon County, and four local grocery stores partner in providing healthy foods to participants.
“The benefits and grocery store partners are the same, but the new eWIC card will make shopping for WIC food benefits more convenient and easier for WIC participants and cashiers,” Moore said.
Unlike with the paper checks, Moore said participating families will be able to spread out purchases. For example, a family can split up milk purchases during the month to buy it when they need it instead of in bulk.
Participants also have access to the WICShopper Smart Phone App, allowing them to scan a food’s bar code to determine if it is a WIC-allowed food, as well as check their benefits.