Monday, 12 February 2018 06:39

eWIC Coming to Richmond County

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eWIC Coming to Richmond County eWic will soon replace the current WIC voucher system in Richmond County.

ROCKINGHAM- eWIC is coming to Richmond County.  The eWIC program, which is a debit card based program,  will replace the current WIC system of vouchers and make the program easier for recipients to use.

“This system is going to provide a great deal of convenience and flexibility to program participants,” according to Tommy Jarrell, Health and Human Services Director for Richmond County.  Jarrell noted, “Specifically, participants will no longer have to separate their WIC foods from their other groceries.” Another benefit is that individuals will no longer be required to redeem a food voucher all at once as had been required in the past.  Participants will now be able to purchase only the WIC items needed at the time. 

The WIC program dates back to the late 1960s and was developed due to a national nutrition survey indicating low income children suffered from anemia and inadequate growth.  The survey suggested children who did not eat the right foods got off to a poor start both physically and mentally.  Today, in North Carolina alone, the WIC Program supplies nutritional products to more than 270,000 women, infants and children each month.

The change from a voucher program to an electronic card system for Richmond County will roll out the Week of March 19.  Program participants have several options available to learn about the upcoming changes.  Individuals may visit the WIC office at the Richmond County Health Department, call the local WIC office at (910) 997-8313 or visit to learn more about the changes.  Jarrell said,“There has been positive feedback from other agencies in NC that have already rolled out on the electronic benefits transfer system.”

The upcoming changes were imposed by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and the upcoming 2020 mandate that all WIC agencies implement an electronic benefits transfer system by Oct 1, 2020.

As far as timing, the new cards will be issued during a participant’s first appointment after March 20.  Local WIC staff will instruct individuals on how to assign a PIN as well as assist them with installation of the new smartphone app used with the eWIC program.  The app will allow participants to track benefits used and benefits still available.  The remaining balance information will also be available on the bottom of the receipt each time the eWIC card is used. 

Eligibility for the program includes women (pregnant, postpartum up to 6 months, breastfeeding up to 12 months), infants (0-12 months) and children 1-5 years of age.  Eligible participants must live in North Carolina and possess a financial and nutritional need. Interested individuals who believe they may be eligible for these benefits should contact the local WIC office at (910) 997-8313 to learn more.  

Last modified on Monday, 12 February 2018 07:08