Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: July 28, 2014
DOVER (July 28, 2014) - The Division of Public Health Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program announced today a $693,660 one-time grant from the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service to implement an electric benefits transfer (EBT) system for Delaware WIC families. WIC EBT replaces paper food checks or vouchers with a card for food benefit issuance and redemption at authorized WIC grocery stores. Implementation of the system will occur over the next two years.
The use of EBT improves the security and flexibility of WIC benefits. If lost or stolen, WIC vouchers are easier to use by unauthorized persons. The new EBT card means that benefits will be accessed using a personal identification code which can be easily changed if the card is lost or stolen. Families will also have more flexibility concerning which items they purchase.
"WIC is a program that is based in providing the most nutritious food for pregnant women, post-partum women, and their young children," said Delaware Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf. "The new EBT program takes this program to the next level by ending the old-fashioned system of paper vouchers and using updated technology."
The WIC program will educate families to make the transition from WIC paper checks to WIC EBT cards seamless.
"We should make having healthy meals as easy as possible. Eating well during and after pregnancy and up to age five is particularly important," said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Division of Public Health director. "Nutritious food helps support a healthy pregnancy and breastfeeding, and also supports healthy growth and development for babies and children."
The Delaware WIC program serves 19,352 low-income people in Delaware and provides:
The WIC food package provides supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk. Foods include but are not limited, to infant formula, milk, juice, cheese, peanut butter, eggs, bread, and selected fruits and vegetables. For WIC's 11 locations statewide, hours, and further information, visit: www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ofclocations.html#wiccliniclocations.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.