Choctaw Nation WIC has made receiving Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits easier for families. On Nov. 6, 2017, the new e-card was released – three years ahead of the deadline set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
WIC is a federally funded supplemental nutritional program for women and children. The Choctaw Nation partnered with six other tribal programs to make the e-card a reality.
The new card offers a variety of benefits for WIC recipients, notes Choctaw Nation WIC Deputy Director and Nutrition Coordinator Shelly Rector.
Recipients can now purchase the quantities of food they need or want, instead of in bulk.
One card will hold all of the benefits for every household member receiving WIC. Before, separate checks were needed.
Recipients may also shop with “mixed baskets,” according to Rector. “They don’t have to separate their WIC foods from their shopping items, because the card separates them during the transaction,” she said.
The card has also made the WIC program more environmentally friendly by eliminating paper checks and folders.
Apart from the direct benefits, the card will also help recipients avoid stigma.
Rector said, “The card can stay in a wallet, just like personal credit cards and participants will not have the stigma of being identified as a WIC participant.”