WIC, Kansas’ public health nutrition program, is offering its families a new way to shop for WIC food benefits using an electronic benefit transaction (EBT) card.

The program was successfully piloted in Shawnee County this past September. WIC families in Harvey County will begin receiving cards March 8. Statewide rollout of the new eWIC cards is scheduled to be completed by June 1.

Currently, WIC participants use paper checks to buy healthy WIC foods. With the eWIC card, shopping will be easier, and WIC families will be able to better track their monthly food balance. Participants also have access to a new WICShopper smartphone app that allows them to scan a food’s bar code to determine if it is a WIC-allowed food.

WIC, a program of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Division of Public Health, provides services at more than 100 clinic sites throughout the state, serving 53,000 women, infants and children under 5. WIC families shop at more than 300 Kansas grocery stores and spend $49 million annually with WIC food benefits.

In Harvey County, 778 people benefit from WIC, with five local grocery stores partnering to provide healthy foods to participants.

“The eWIC card is going to make shopping for WIC so much easier and faster,” said Alice Jantzen, RN, WIC coordinator for the Harvey County health department. “Clients can buy the foods from their benefits when they want to during the month, instead of purchasing the foods grouped together on the checks they presently use.”

Harvey County has appointment openings for WIC. For more information on WIC, please call 316-283-1637 or 800-414-4244, or find information online at www.kansaswic.org.

WIC is a national program of the United States Department of Agriculture. WIC has been offering participant-centered nutrition education, healthy food, breastfeeding support and serving as a gateway for preventative health for over 40 years.