eWIC Launches in Anchorage Grocery Stores
ANCHORAGE—The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) public health nutrition program is now offering Anchorage families a new way to shop for WIC benefits using an electronic benefit transaction (EBT) card.
The Anchorage Health Department (AHD) has fully transitioned from issuing paper checks to electronic food benefits through eWIC cards, modernizing the shopping experience for WIC’s participants and grocery stores.
With this new card, shopping is easier and WIC families are able to better track their monthly food balance. Participants also have access to a new WICShopper Smart Phone App allowing them to check their food benefit balance and scan a food’s bar code to determine if it is a WIC allowed food.
AHD is the sole vendor for operating the WIC program in the Municipality of Anchorage, providing nutrition services to over 5,000 lower-income pregnant women, infants, and children under age five. These WIC families shop at more than twenty-one Anchorage grocery stores and farmer’s markets and spend $3,128,136 a year through the program on healthy foods, benefiting the local economy.
Christy Lawton, AHD Public Health Division Manager says, “WIC Anchorage is excited to offer a new, convenient way for our families to shop for healthy foods.”
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Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.