The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs of Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties are launching a new method for families to get WIC foods. “eWIC” provides families with EBT (electronic benefit transaction) cards, replacing the paper vouchers currently used to get WIC-approved foods such as milk, eggs, produce and baby food.
WIC programs in Linn and Benton counties were the first to pilot this new card, which they started using in September of 2015. By the end of the year, all Oregon counties will use the eWIC cards.
“The benefits of eWIC will be significant,” says Washington County WIC Supervisor Tiare Sanna. “It will greatly improve WIC participants’ shopping experience and their ability to track their monthly food balance. It will be quicker and easier for stores and cashiers, and, finally, it will allow the WIC program as a whole to better track shopping trends and should help increase program efficiency.”
Participants can also download a new WICShopper smart phone app that allows them to scan an item’s bar code to determine if it is a WIC-allowed food.
In 2014, approximately 200 participating grocery stores across the three counties took in more than $21 million from WIC shoppers.
WIC is one of the most successful, cost-effective and important nutrition intervention programs. In addition to helping families get healthful food, WIC also offers nutrition education classes and breastfeeding support, including peer support groups for moms and their babies.
WIC provides services at 14 locations throughout the tri-county area, serving more than 55,000 low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and their infants and children up to five years old.
Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington County WIC programs all have openings for participants. For eligibility requirements or other information, contact your WIC office directly:
Multnomah County WIC (three locations) starts using eWIC on January 25.
Clackamas County WIC (six locations) starts using eWIC on February 1.
Washington County WIC (three locations) starts using eWIC on February 8.
Multnomah County: Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, 503-709-9858, Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Clackamas County: Scott Anderson, 503-655-8752, Sanderson@co.clackamas.or.us
Washington County: Wendy Gordon, 503-846-3634, email@example.com