e-WIC is coming to York County!
The YCCAC WIC program currently uses a paper voucher as currency for clients to purchase nutritious fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, cereal and other products. But change, in the form of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, is on the way.
“We’re excited to finally get the process started for implementation of eWIC in York County,” said Jennifer Quimby, WIC program director. “We’re in the planning stages now, with several steps to go before eWIC becomes operational. But we’re moving forward, and we’ve got a great team of WIC staff ready to help clients make the transition from paper vouchers to an EBT card.”
Implementation of eWIC will require participation of all WIC staff. In order to train local agency personnel on eWIC procedures, lead staff at each clinic site will be assigned as a local eWIC lead, responsible for participating in all State WIC trainings and ensuring that colleagues are familiar with the new procedures. These local eWIC leaders are called Super Users
Three YCCAC WIC staff members—Ms. Quimby; Jennifer Viger, breastfeeding coordinator and WIC office manager (Biddeford); and Brenda Feenstra, nutrition coordinator and WIC office manager (Sanford)—will attend training to be eWIC Super Users for all five York County WIC clinic sites—Sanford, Biddeford, Kittery, Limerick and Buxton.
The eWIC card provides benefits to vendors, WIC clients, and the WIC program. Participants’ WIC benefits are secure and issued more efficiently; the opportunity for fraud and diversion of WIC benefits is reduced; and vendors receive their reimbursements/settlement for eWIC transactions within two business days.
At the register the eWIC card works in the same way as other magnetic card payment options. The card is swiped in the card reader and the food item is deducted from the participant’s available food benefit balance. This will provide more freedom to participants by allowing them to purchase only those items needed at the time without losing any remaining benefits for the benefit period.
“We’re always looking for ways to make the WIC experience more enjoyable for our families, and transitioning to an EBT card will certainly help do that” said Ms. Quimby.
The YCCAC WIC program serves 3,200 York County individuals (2,000 families) annually.