Arizona WIC Program Awarded $5 Million for EBT
The Arizona Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) is moving from paper checks to an electronic system thanks to a $5 million ($5,046,894) grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) will provide enhanced service and benefits to participants, clinic staff, and WIC vendors (grocery stores authorized to accept Arizona WIC benefits). Using a card in the stores may also reduce any stigma or concern a participant has from using WIC checks while shopping. Stores in Arizona that provide WIC services sell about $150 million in healthy foods to WIC participants each year.
WIC EBT will impact four major groups:
- Arizona WIC Participants which include low income women, infants and children;
- Arizona WIC Authorized vendors including independent grocers, as well as major chain grocers and pharmacies;
- Arizona WIC local agencies and clinics including county health departments, community health centers and tribes; and
- The State of Arizona, Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity – Arizona WIC Program.
The Arizona WIC Program is required to implement WIC EBT by October 2020 as mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The Arizona WIC Program plans to procure an EBT implementation contractor by winter 2014 and begin development of the EBT system. The Arizona WIC Program plans to pilot WIC EBT by spring 2016 and complete state-wide rollout by early 2017.
For more information, visit: www.azwic.gov.