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WIC program transitions to eWIC

Arizona’s WIC programs are going electronic, which for Gila County residents will mean a more convenient, discreet shopping experience.

Samantha Jerome, WIC Manager for the Gila County Health Department, explains that eWIC began rolling out in Gila County at the beginning of November. Previously, participants in the WIC program, which provides food for pregnant women, new mothers, and children up to age five, use paper “checks” to purchase certain foods at the store.

“The Gila County WIC Program provides services to 1,250 participants each month,” says Jerome. “The move to eWIC means that our WIC families can shop for the same healthy WIC-approved foods with more flexibility to go to the store throughout the month, with their WIC benefits on one card.”

The electronic system will give customers a WIC “debit card,” which works a whole lot like a typical debit card. WIC customers will swipe the card after their items are scanned, the WIC items will automatically be deducted, and the customer can then pay for the remaining items however they choose.

Another benefit of eWIC will be a smartphone app that will allow WIC customers to scan barcodes to determine a food’s eligibility, readily check their balance, and electronically access the list of eligible foods at the grocery store. In addition, a customer’s WIC balance will print out on their receipt.

Although the eWIC rollout has been happening in Gila County over the course of months, Jerome says that Gila County WIC staff has been working toward this change for quite a while.

If you’d like more information about WIC or would like to know if you might be eligible, call 928-474-7182 or visit the Gila County Health Department at 107 W. Frontier Street in Payson or call 928-402-4306 or visit 5515 S. Apache Ave. in Central Heights in Globe-Miami.