[12/9/19] WIC Usage Makeover

Posted in Business & Economy

Families and individuals who receive Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program food benefits can now use WIC cards  and the WICShopper app when they head to the grocery store.

WIC provides eligible families with nutrient-rich foods to supplement their diets. The program is for pregnant women, new and breastfeeding moms, and children under five. Before the switch, a mom with a child might have presented one or more checks for herself and separate checks for her child at the checkout counter. But if a check listed five food items, the individual would have to purchase all five items during one shopping trip, or purchase some of them and lose the rest because the remainder food benefit wouldn’t
carry over to the next grocery store stop.

Washington’s WIC program introduced the new tools earlier this year to reduce stigma, improve efficiency and improve the participants’ shopping experience. About 275,000 participants use the WIC
program, which means almost half of all babies in Washington are on the WIC program. 

Paul Throne, director of the Department of Health’s Office of Nutrition Services, said the change makes planning and shopping less complicated. As of November, the only thing WIC families need to bring to the grocery store is a single WIC card.