By Chance Hoener GateHouse Kansas
The program is now issuing electronic benefits transaction cards — like a WIC credit card — to be used to purchase WIC approved groceries. Cards will begin being issued Feb. 7, and the rollout will be completed by June 1.
Currently, WIC participants must use paper checks to purchase WIC approved items. The checks already have items listed on them, and must be used all at once. For example, if a family has a loaf of bread, but ne milk, and their WIC check is made out for two gallons of milk and two loaves of bread, they must get it all or lose the other benefits.
“With the checks, participants had to get everything on that check at one time, and they had to show identification. Checks had to be run separately and it could hold up the line,” Timme said. “The card will be faster and more discreet. They’ll run it first and it will automatically remove the WIC approved items.
Timme said benefits will still have a start and end date, but can be purchased anytime between those dates. WIC helps provide access to nutritional foods for pregnant women, infants and children up to five years old.
“The food packages are tailored for each level to provide nutrients that may be needed at those times,” Timme said.