WIC Nutrition Benefits Go Electronic: Faster, Easier To Use
March 27, 2019 | View PDF
The Montana WIC program rolled out eWIC, statewide in 2017. The new system replaces paper benefits with a charge card similar to a credit or debit card.
One goal of eWIC is to help reduce any stigma associated with the benefit and, in turn, encourage more people who qualify and benefit from the program to use it. WIC is available to all Montana residents who are pregnant or breastfeeding up to one-year postpartum, non-breastfeeding mothers up to six months postpartum, and children up to age five who meet income guidelines.
“WIC is such an important program because it helps pregnant women and your children get the good nutrition they need at a crucial time in their lives and development,” said Kate Girard, who oversees the State WIC program. “Now WIC is easier with eWIC, which is more discreet and can be used to shop throughout the month.”
In addition to financial help to buy healthy foods, benefits of WIC include:
• Nutrition screening and education to improve eating behaviors;
• Breastfeeding support and counseling, including pumps; and,
• Referrals to other local health and social services.
Nationwide, WIC serves more than 7 million people. Extensive research has found that it’s a cost-effective investment and improves the nutrition and health outcomes of low-income families.
“This program truly can make a lifelong difference for people,” said Lesley Thiessen of Northeast Montana WIC in Sidney. “We’d sure like to see everyone who’s eligible take advantage of it, to give their little ones a healthy start on life.”