The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced last week that the Wolf Administration launched the eWIC program on July 22, 2019, for families in Southwestern Pennsylvania who receive benefits in Pennsylvania's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
"Families in Southwestern Pennsylvania will now be able to use the eWIC card instead of a paper check to purchase nutritious food," Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. "This will allow for WIC families to visit a grocery store and purchase food as they need it instead of just once a month. This further expansion of the WIC program allows us to continue our mission to ensure Pennsylvania has healthy moms and healthy kids."
The counties where eWIC cards will be available include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland. The program will be rolled out to other parts of the state through November.
The eWIC card allows families quick, easy and convenient shopping for food benefits. Families who receive eWIC cards will no longer receive paper checks, saving them time at the grocery store checkout. They can now buy WIC foods in as many shopping trips as they need throughout the month. Previously, the paper check had to be used in one trip. Participants also will have access to the WICShopper smart phone app, which allows them to scan a product's bar code to determine if it is a WIC-allowed food.
For more than 45 years WIC has offered participant-centered nutrition education, healthy food and breastfeeding support to eligible pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children under age 5 in Pennsylvania. In addition, the program also serves as a gateway for preventive health, and is considered one of the most successful, cost-effective and important nutrition intervention programs in the country.
The WIC program in Pennsylvania provides services at more than 260 locations and serves more than 205,000 pregnant women, infants and children under age 5. WIC families shop at more than 1,500 Pennsylvania grocery stores and spend $248 million a year with their WIC food benefits.
Pennsylvania's WIC program has appointment openings. For more information about WIC, visit www.pawic.com or call 1-800-WIC-WINS. The Pennsylvania WIC program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.