(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) helps families with nutrition services and just became easier and more convenient! 2021 ushers in a whole new chapter for Utah WIC participants as the age-old practice of using paper checks to redeem WIC benefits is replaced by an EBT smart card. Effective February 1, all food packages will be redeemed with an EBT smart card at nearly 300 authorized grocery stores across the state.
WIC is the nations’ most successful and cost-effective public health nutrition program providing wholesome food, nutrition education, and community support for income-eligible women who are pregnant or post-partum and for infants and children up to five years of age.
Until now, WIC participants redeemed food benefits using time consuming paper checks. Each qualifying family member received a set of checks to use as needed throughout the month. Each check had to be used for specific, nutritious foods. If the participant didn’t purchase every item allocated on the checks, the benefits would go unredeemed. Time spent in the checkout line was often tedious and embarrassing for participants.
The new EBT WIC smartcards are a game changer for WIC families who have been
struggling with challenges related to the worldwide pandemic. All food benefits for the entire family will be prescribed to one card. Shopping trips can be a quick run to the store for a simple gallon of milk without fear of losing out on other needed benefits. Checking out at the register is now quick, discreet and ultra-convenient. Utah WIC steps into the technology age in the big way this year to offer their clients the best possible grocery store experience. Participants love the convenience of the new smartcards. One mom stated, “I was so happy to get rid of the checks. It only took me one time at the store to figure it out. It was really so easy!”
To help with the transition, Utah WIC has also launched a WICShopper app. Participants can link their WIC account to the app and gain access to numerous resources Including, prescription balances, verify product authorization, watch informational videos, and find healthful recipes to prepare with their WIC foods.
The end of cumbersome paper checks streamlines the entire WIC process and helps families get back to the activities they love quicker and with less stress. WIC hopes to give participants the resources, knowledge, and tools they need to be successful.
The number of families receiving WIC benefits is down from recent years, and Utah WIC staff hopes to increase participation with the switch to the EBT smartcard. Women see better pregnancy outcomes and children have improved diets when they are part of the WIC program.* To find out if you qualify visit https://wic.utah.gov/ or call 1-877-WIC KIDS.
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Utah WIC Program