(KLIX) – The Idaho Women, Infants & Children program – otherwise known as WIC – is switching from paper cards to an electronic benefits system, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The new system, called eWIC, will distribute benefits onto a debit-like card that participants of the program than will use to get their foodstuffs.

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

Southern Idaho will be the first region in the state to be introduced to eWIC, according to the health department. It will begin in southern Idaho this Thursday, Sept. 12, before expanding to the rest of the state sometime 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,” the health department explained.

“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.”

WIC, a federally-funded program administered by the Division of Public Health in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, served 34,422 clients in 2018 with average voucher of $51 a month.

To learn more about eWIC and the requirements of WIC, visit your local health department or this Idaho WIC webpage.

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