Electronic nutrition program cards issued

Across Wisconsin during this summer, local Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Programs are rolling out brand new electronic benefit cards or eWIC for participants. The Sheboygan County Division of Public Health’s WIC program is set to roll-out on August 5, 2015.

The statewide decision to implement eWIC comes from The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296. The act expanded several nutrition assistance programs, including WIC; and ordered that State WIC food benefits change from a paper-based benefit “check” to an electronic benefit card by October 1, 2020.

About 2000 local WIC participants are served each month by the Sheboygan County’s WIC Program and will be affected by the roll-out. The WIC program works to help to prevent obesity, one of the priority health areas that came out of the 2015 Sheboygan County Community Health Assessment, and provides information on ways in which families can incorporate healthy nutrition into their daily lifestyles. eWIC has been successfully implemented in several states, with many other states also in the process of transitioning. States that have implemented eWIC noted several improvements to the WIC program, including:

Elimination of paper checks has improved the shopping experience for WIC participants.

Electronic approval of WIC items has improved the check-out experience for cashiers.

Electronic payment processing has improved the timeliness of payments to retail vendors. eWIC issuance of benefits has streamlined the process in the WIC clinic.

The local WIC program provides pregnant women, infants and children with time to talk with a WIC dietitian, support for breastfeeding, help monitoring healthy growth and development, referrals to health care providers and other programs, and assistance to buy and use healthy foods. To learn more about WIC and whether you or someone you know may qualify please call 920-459-3417 or visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/ wic/index.htm.

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