Garrett County WIC Switches to eWIC System
Garrett County participants of the Maryland WIC Program have switched over to the new eWIC system, an electronic benefits distribution system. New plastic cards have replaced the paper checks previously used to purchase approved items.
WIC, a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children under the age 5, provides healthy supplemental foods and nutrition counseling for pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children.
Garrett County participated in the second pilot for the Maryland eWIC project. “The transition to eWIC has gone very smoothly in Garrett County, for both participants and vendors.” said Carol Bass, WIC Coordinator at the Garrett County Health Department. “It’s very easy to use, and we haven’t had any problems at our grocery stores.”
The Maryland WIC Program began the transition from paper checks to electronic benefits in Southern Maryland in January 2017. Western Maryland followed in February, and Central Maryland in May. The Eastern Shore and Baltimore City are scheduled to transition in June and July.
Each WIC participant is provided with an eWIC card, which works like a debit card, with participant swiping the card in the store’s card reader and enter a 4-digit PIN when making WIC purchases. The new eWIC system eliminates the need for paper checks and allows participants to buy only the food they need each time they shop instead of trying to use up all the items on each check.
The WIC program has an extraordinary 35-year record of preventing children’s health problems and improving their long-term health, growth and development. WIC serves over 9.1 million women, infants and children through over 10,000 clinics nationwide. In 2013, Maryland WIC served over 143,000 women, infants and children each month.
For more information about WIC call the Garrett County Health Department WIC Program at 301-334-7710 or 301-895-3111.