eWIC makes it easier for families to make healthy choices at grocery stores

Families in the Idaho Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program now have a more convenient way to shop for healthy, WIC-approved foods. The WIC program has rolled out a digital payment innovation, which involves switching from paper checks to an electronic benefits system. The new system is called eWIC, and it distributes benefits onto a card that is used like a debit card.

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eWIC rolled out in southern Idaho on Sept. 12 and expanded to the rest of the state in October.

The digital program gives families in the WIC program a more convenient and efficient way to shop for healthy, WIC-approved foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, juice, baby formula, and baby foods.

“We’ve received some really positive feedback from moms who have started using the card. And when it’s paired with the WICShopper app, it really streamlines the customer experience as they purchase healthy foods,” said Cristi Litzsinger, director of Idaho WIC. Continue reading

Idaho WIC begins transition this week to an electronic benefits system

The Idaho Women, Infants & Children (WIC) program is switching from paper checks to an electronic benefits system, called eWIC, which will distribute benefits onto a card that is used like a debit card.

eWIC will roll out in southern Idaho starting Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, and will expand to the rest of the state in October. eWIC will give families a more convenient and efficient way to shop for healthy, WIC-approved foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, juice, baby formula, and baby foods.

Current WIC participants will be transitioned from checks to an eWIC card during their regular monthly appointments using a phased approach. New participants will be issued an eWIC card at their first visit.

“We are excited to offer eWIC cards to Idaho families. Using the eWIC card in conjunction with the WIC shopper app will streamline the customer experience of purchasing healthy foods,” said Cristi Litzsinger, director of Idaho WIC.

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Idaho WIC makes annual adjustment to income guidelines

Idaho’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will implement new income guidelines effective July 1, 2019, that raise household income eligibility limits to help offset cost of living increases. This review and adjustment happens annually.

To be eligible for the WIC program, an individual must be a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, a woman who has recently been pregnant, or an infant or child younger than 5 years old. In addition, the individual must live in Idaho, have a need that can be helped by WIC foods and nutrition counseling, and have a low-to-moderate income.

To be eligible on the basis of income, an applicant’s gross income (e.g., before taxes are withheld) must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. For example, under the new guidelines a family of three can earn up to $39,461 annually; under the old guidelines a family of three could have earned up to $38,443 annually. Continue reading

Idaho WIC makes annual adjustment to income guidelines

Idaho’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will implement new income guidelines effective July 1, 2017, that raise household income eligibility limits to help offset cost of living increases. This is an annual adjustment.

To be eligible for the WIC program, an individual must be a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, a woman who has recently been pregnant, or an infant or child younger than 5 years old. In addition, the individual must live in Idaho, have a special need that can be helped by WIC foods and nutrition counseling, and have a low-to-moderate income.

To be eligible on the basis of income, an applicant’s gross income (e.g., before taxes are withheld) must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. For example, under the new guidelines a family of three can earn up to $37,777 annually; under the old guidelines a family of three could have earned up to $37,296 annually. Continue reading

Central District Health Department WIC program earns national-level kudos

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From left: Lorraine Fortunati, Laurie Valdez, and Cindy Galloway from Central District Health receive the Loving Support Gold Premier Award of Excellence from Idaho WIC staff Cristi Litzsinger, Kris Spain, and Mimi Fetzer. 

The Idaho WIC program would like to congratulate Central District Health Department and its Peer Counseling Program, which recently was awarded the Loving Support Gold Premiere Award of Excellence.

The award was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to recognize and celebrate local WIC agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services. The intent is to provide models and motivate other local agencies and clinics to strengthen their breastfeeding promotions and support activities and ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants. Idaho WIC employees from the Department of Health and Welfare presented the award to the health district last week.

“Peer counselors are key to Idaho WIC’s breastfeeding success and continue to provide mother-to-mother breastfeeding support to WIC participants,” said Cristi Litzsinger, Idaho WIC program manager. “It’s exciting that the program at Central District Health has received this national recognition. We are thrilled to be continually recognized for our efforts in supporting breastfeeding.” Continue reading