Idaho WIC begins transition this week to an electronic benefits system

The Idaho Women, Infants & Children or WIC program is switching from paper checks to an electronic benefits system, called eWIC, which will distribute benefits onto a card that is used like a debit card.

eWIC will roll out in southern Idaho starting Thursday and will expand to the rest of the state in October. Officials say eWIC will give families a more convenient and efficient way to shop for healthy, WIC-approved foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, juice, baby formula, and baby foods.

Current WIC participants will be transitioned from checks to an eWIC card during their regular monthly appointments using a phased approach. New participants will be issued an eWIC card at their first visit.

WIC offers nutrition, education, nutritional assessments, and vouchers for certain healthy foods to eligible low-income families. The program has 65 clinics across the state and is accepted in 200 WIC-authorized grocery stores. The program is entirely federally funded and is administered by the Division of Public Health in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. In fiscal year 2018, the program served 34,422 clients, and the average voucher was $51 a month. (Idaho Department of Health and Welfare)

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