Summit County Government

Posted on: October 6, 2016

Summit County WIC Improves Access to Healthy Foods

Photo of a Colorado eWIC debit card.

Electronic debit cards reduce barriers for local families

Contact:
Whitney Smith, WIC Director
970-668-9199, whitney.smith@summitcountyco.gov

SUMMIT COUNTY— The Summit County WIC program, part of Colorado’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), now offers participating families a new way to purchase WIC foods using a debit-style card called eWIC.

The new eWIC cards, which became available to local families on Oct. 4, allow WIC participants to purchase as many or as few WIC foods as they need each time they shop, making WIC purchases easier.

“This convenience wasn’t possible when we provided WIC vouchers or ‘checks,’ which required all food benefits on a voucher to be purchased at one time,” Summit County WIC Director Whitney Smith said. “This new system dramatically reduces the number of hoops families jump through to access fresh produce, whole grains, fresh milk and other staples of a healthful diet.”

Other benefits of eWIC include the following:

  • Eliminating the need for participants to come to the clinic at Summit County Public Health to receive new food allocations.
  • Eliminating confusion at the checkout line and reducing checkout time and customer distress.
  • Eliminating the need for store cashiers to identify whether a specified food is Colorado WIC eligible. The stores’ UPC code database does that, making the purchase of WIC foods simpler and faster.

Currently in Summit County, 300 women, infants and children use WIC. Each WIC household receives one eWIC card, which accesses an electronic account that tracks the family’s WIC food allowance, deducts food as it is purchased and adds food allocated each month. Families can track their WIC food in several ways, including checking the most recent store register receipt.

“We’re really excited to offer this new level of convenience for local families,” Smith said. “This represents a significant boost in our ability to ensure that nutritious foods are readily accessible to our community.”

Summit County WIC has been offering participant-centered nutrition education, healthy food, breastfeeding support and health referrals for over 25 years. WIC is a premier nationwide public health program, improving the health, growth and development of children by providing important nutrition education and food benefits. One in two babies nationwide is eligible for WIC.

For more information about WIC, visit www.ColoradoWIC.com or www.SummitCountyCO.gov/WIC.

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Summit County WIC
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