News Releases

Cumberland County WIC Launches Electronic Food Benefits

Mar 28, 2018

The Cumberland County Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, program has launched an electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, system. Instead of paper food benefits, WIC food benefits are now issued into an electronic benefit account. The eWIC card works like a debit card; families will use their card and PIN to access their food benefits at the grocery store.

Cumberland County was part of the sixth North Carolina county grouping to roll out the new system. All 10 county groupings will be rolled out by May 11. Nationally, all states will be required to use eWIC by 2020.

With eWIC, participants can buy only the foods they need rather than being required to purchase all their WIC items in one shopping trip. Typically, participants will not have to separate WIC foods from other purchases because the system will let the participant and the cashier know whether an item is an authorized WIC food. However, shoppers must use their eWIC card first before any other method of payment.

“We have been issuing eWIC cards for about a week and the staff and clients are enjoying the new system,” said Sharon Batten, Cumberland County WIC director. “Using eWIC will help expedite WIC client appointments and it offers a faster and more convenient checkout at the store.”

The WIC program provides supplemental food and nutrition education to women who are pregnant, have had a baby in the last 6 months, or are breastfeeding and have had a baby in the last 12 months. Additionally, infants and children up to 5 years of age are eligible for the program.

Program participants must live in North Carolina, live in a household with an income at or below 185% of the Federal poverty income guidelines and have a nutrition-related problem or be at risk of developing a nutrition-related problem.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health has three WIC offices located at:

Health Department
1235 Ramsey Street
Fayetteville, NC 28301
910-433-3730

Spring Lake Family Resource Center
103 Laketree Blvd.
Spring Lake, NC 28390
910-321-6420

Hope Mills
Millview Place, Suite 100
2622 Hope Mills Road
Fayetteville, NC 28306
910-433-3779

In addition to providing nutritious foods, WIC also provides nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion/support, and referrals to community and health agencies that can help participants improve their diets and reduce their chances of health problems caused by poor nutrition. WIC is funded by the U. S. Department of Agriculture that has been operating in North Carolina since 1974.

For more information about WIC in Cumberland County, visit bit.ly/CumberlandCOWIC or www.nutritionnc.com.