Burlington County is making it easier for new and expecting mothers to access assistance from the Women, Infants and Children program.
The program, also known as WIC, provides supplemental food, education, health care referrals and other social services to income-eligible pregnant women, new mothers and children 5 years old and younger, and is switching to an electronic benefits delivery system next month.
Enrolled clients will receive an eWIC card that can be used like a debit card to purchase healthy foods from numerous grocery stores and other authorized locations in the region. The card will make it easier and more convenient to access and use WIC benefits.
Shopping will be more flexible so clients won’t have to buy all WIC items at once and checkout will be much quicker and easier.
Clients will be issued their eWIC card during regularly scheduled appointments between the end of February and May. During this time, WIC will extend its hours for appointments during the week and open for half days on Saturdays to expedite the dissemination of the new eWIC cards.
Clients will also be encouraged to download the free WIC shopper app on their devices to access information about their WIC account, as well as WIC office locations, WIC-approved stores, food lists and recipes.
The app even allows users to scan food to items to determine if it is WIC approved and eligible for purchase with benefits.
“As a mom myself, I’m familiar with the challenges new and expecting mothers face,” Burlington County Commissioner Felicia Hopson said in a statement provided by the county. “Making sure all mothers and their children have access to nutritious foods, health care and other assistance regardless of their circumstances is incredibly important and the switch to an eWIC system will make it easier for moms to use their benefits and get the nutritious foods they and their children need. It’s a big win for moms and children.”
More than 3,200 Burlington County households, including several residing on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, are helped monthly by the county’s WIC program, making it one of the most successful WIC programs in New Jersey, according to the statement.
As part of the WIC nutrition program, Burlington County also distributes $25 farmers market vouchers between June and September that can be used to purchase fresh produce at the farmers market at the Burlington County Agricultural Center in Moorestown and other participating farmers markets throughout the county and state.
In addition to nutrition assistance and counseling, Burlington County offers breastfeeding support for new mothers and health referrals for pregnant moms and children, according to the statement.
These services are available by appointment at the Burlington County Health Department offices, 15 Pioneer Boulevard, Westampton, or at the program’s 10 satellite clinics throughout Burlington County.
“The entire Board is proud of the amazing job our health department has done in ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to offer services that our residents rely on,” Hopson said in the statement. “The WIC program is one of those critical services.”
For more information, including a list of clinic locations, visit www.co.burlington.nj.us/403/Women-Infant-Children-WIC-Program or call 609-267-4304.