On August 15 we published the Tech Blog, “WIC-WISE Coming Soon!” that introduced the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card used to enhance its special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC). A new wave of the multi-phased Management Information System project that interfaces with the EBT system, eWIC, launched recently. It makes accessing benefits easier and more efficient all the way down the line of distribution.
Ultimately, eWIC will be delivered in 10 waves and include 83 local agencies and 500 clinic sites throughout California. To date, four waves have been implemented with 50 local agencies and 129 clinic sites. Approximately 63,000 families have been issued WIC cards totaling $6.6 million in benefits. More than 43,000 WIC participants downloaded the app to look up WIC products, prices, food balances and locations. Wave five is on track to rollout November 1, according to CDT staff that provides eWIC oversight.
Many benefits are associated with the project, including efficiency at checkout and expedited vendor settlement. Local agencies will have the ability to track benefit usage in real time giving CDPH on-demand information on food redemption, improved data and reporting, and the ability to better serve California residents and vendors. The end result will be a user-friendly and efficient program.
We’ll continue to provide eWIC project updates in future Tech Blogs.