WIC switching from paper coupons to electronic cards

| April 7, 2015

COSHOCTON – The WIC office is excited to be transitioning its clients from paper coupons to electronic benefit cards.

“They are similar, but not the same as food stamp cards,” said Willa Hamersley, director of

Coshocton WIC. “The WIC Nutrition Card stores information on a chip. The state WIC office started rolling this out last May or June and has slowly been bringing more counties on board. We just started with this March 23 and the state’s goal is to have everybody on it by the end of July. Right now the paper coupons are still being taken by stores.”

WIC clients however, have to wait until their next scheduled appointment to get their new card.

“We can put up to four members of one family on a card so you don’t have to carry fists full of coupons around anymore or worry about signing them at the register,” Hamersley said.

The benefits clients receive will still be the same and the card will keep them separated by months.

When participants receive their card they must create a personal pin number and bring the card back with them to appointments where they are scheduled to receive more food. Like the paper coupons, you will only receive three months of available food items at one time.

“That day you will get a list of what foods you are assigned and a beginning balance,” Hamersley said. “You also can get quantities of your assigned foods as you need them. You don’t have to buy several items at one time like you did with the paper coupons.”

When you use the card at a store you will need to know your pin number in order to purchase your items and get receipts saying what your beginning balance is, what you’ve spent and your new balance. People are advised to keep their receipts so they always know what is left on their card.

“It’s new and people are nervous about it, but really nothing has changed except the way you are getting food,” Hamersley said. “You are still getting the same food in the same quantities. You are just getting it from the store in a different way.”

Along with their card, clients receive a little booklet with information that also contains a slot for keeping your card and receipts.

“This is a great thing for us to rollout,” Hamersley said. “It does away with a lot of paperwork.”

If anyone has questions about the new WIC Nutrition Card or is having problems using it, they are welcome to contact the local WIC office at 740-622-2929.

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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