Van Buren WIC program launches electronic transfer
By Kim Swindell Wood | August 8, 2019 12:18 pm
The Tennessee Women, Infants and Children or WIC Program has transitioned to an electronic benefit transfer system from a paper-based method of issuing benefits. Van Buren County families participating in WIC now use their TNWIC cards instead of paper vouchers to purchase WIC-approved foods.
“We are really excited to offer TNWIC to families in Van Buren County,” said Mindy Doyle, county health director. “The new system makes purchases flow more smoothly for both shoppers and retailers, and reduces stigma for our WIC participants who can now use an electronic card for purchases instead of paper vouchers.”
With the new TNWIC system, benefits for WIC-approved foods are automatically entered into an account and accessed with a card similar to a debit card. This card replaces paper vouchers and can be used at any WIC-authorized store statewide. WIC is an important economic driver in Tennessee communities: In 2018, WIC participants redeemed approximately $35,000 in program benefits at WIC-authorized stores.
Each year an average of 144 participants at nutritional risk in Van Buren County receive WIC benefits provided through the Van Buren County Health Department. WIC provides supplemental food assistance and nutrition education to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children until age five. In addition to healthy foods, nutrition education and breastfeeding support, WIC also provides referrals to other health and community-based services. WIC has proven to be effective in preventing and improving nutrition-related health problems.
To learn more about WIC including guidelines for participation, call the Van Buren County Health Department at 931-946-2438. You can also call 1-800-DIAL-WIC (1-800-342-5942) or visit www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/fhw/wic.html.