An electric benefit card, which looks like a credit card, is coming to WIC recipients.
WIC stands for Women, Infant, Children and is a government program to provide needed services to low-income families.
Starting Feb. 7, the program will switch from special checks to a benefit card, according to Linda Timme, the nutrition service coordinator at the Crawford County Health Department (CCHD).
CCHD is the service provider for WIC in Bourbon County.
“Right now we have printed checks that have food items on them, provided through the WIC program,” Timme said.
The switch to a benefit card is to simplify for both clients and program administrators, Timme said.
“It will be good for our clients, easier to use at the store,” she said. “And it will be easier for us. We’ve been talking to our clients about this change.”
WIC provides food, healthcare referrals, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotions and support to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women and additionally to infants and children to age five years old, who are found to be at risk nutritionally, according to the website: wic.fns.usda.gov
There is a state WIC website to see if one will qualify for the program: www.kansaswic.org.
The CCHD offers weekly clinics in Fort Scott. Three times clinic services are offered at Buck Run Community Center and one clinic is offered at Mercy Hospital.
The next clinic is at Mercy.
“At clinics, they are asked to bring proof of income and residency in the county,” Timme said. “They must show an ID, and also IDs for children.”
“First we decide if they are qualified, then health screenings are given,” she said. “We have risk factors to see if they qualify. Then we issue benefits. People go home with checks to purchase food on the list.”
Foods provided are specific, Timme said. Eggs, milk, cereal, juice, fresh vegetables and fruit and whole grains.
Clients must call for an appointment, Timme said.
The number is 620.231.5411.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered on the WIC program.