A state program that helps provide nutrition to mothers and their young children is changing the way it makes benefits available.
The Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC nutrition program has paid out benefits to participants using paper checks since the 1970s. That started to change in June, says Wisconsin WIC program director Patti Hauser. The program is in the midst of moving to electronic debit cards, similar to those used to provide FoodShare benefits.
Hauser says there’s not much cost savings for the state with the switch, but it will make it easier for recipients to check-out at grocery stores. “The transaction goes just much quicker at the cash register. The family doesn’t need to sort their WIC foods from their other foods,” she says. Also, they are able to pay with just a swipe of their card.
The state began issuing cards in June and is phasing them in across the state over the summer. Hauser says they hope to have the funds transfer system fully implemented by the end of September.