New York State Department of Health Announces Electronic Benefit Card for Women, Infants, and Children Program Coming to New York City

New Debit Cards Create Convenient Shopping Experience for over 340,000 Participants in the Greater New York City Area

eWIC Technology Debuts at Stores in the Bronx and Brooklyn and Will be Available to the Remainder of NYC WIC Participants in the Coming weeks

Implementation Ahead of USDA 2020 Deadline to Adopt eWIC Technology

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 15, 2019) - The New York State Department of Health today announced the New York City arrival of eWIC, an electronic benefit transfer card that eliminates paper checks and provides a more convenient way for families in the Women, Infants, and Children program to shop for WIC foods. WIC stores are now online in the Bronx and Brooklyn, with the remainder of New York City rolling out in the coming weeks.

"As a mother I can't imagine the pain of knowing you don't have the ability to give your child their next meal," said New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul."We have already heard from grateful families about the difference that the eWIC technology has made in ensuring they have access to nutritious food, without holding up a grocery line because of an outdated paper check system. By bringing the WIC system into the 21st Century, we're enhancing this critical benefits program and promoting convenient shopping for all New Yorkers."

"The importance of all New York families having easy access to the nutritious foods necessary for childhood development and overall good health cannot be understated," said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, who welcomed the eWIC era at C-Town Foods in the Bronx today. "Moving to eWIC, an electronic benefits card, eliminates paper checks and simplifies the shopping experience for WIC families and retailers, and I look forward to a continued successful rollout."

eWIC, which works like a debit card, makes shopping with WIC benefits easier and allows WIC vendors to be reimbursed faster.The new eWIC technology also allows families to roll over any unused benefits from a shopping trip toward future purchases during the same month.

eWIC technology was successfully introduced to the Bronx on February 4, as the first borough to come online in NYC. Brooklyn successfully followed on February 19. A staggered rollout of eWIC will continued in the coming weeks with Manhattan coming online next week, followed by Queens the week of

April 1 and Staten Island the week of April 15. Upon completion of rollout in the five boroughs, 3,000 WIC vendors will be online and accepting eWIC cards statewide. The release of eWIC technology in New York City follows the successful rollout to upstate New York and Long Island, which began in the Spring of 2018.

In addition to eWIC, the Department of Health launched a new mobile application called WIC2Go to make shopping for WIC foods easier. WIC2Go allows users to scan the barcode on a product to see if it is WIC-approved. Users can also check their WIC account balance, view their upcoming WIC appointments and locate WIC stores and clinics.

WIC offers nutritious foods, education on nutrition, advice for healthy living, breastfeeding support and health care referrals to eligible New York families with young children and pregnant women. Registered dietitians are on staff at WIC sites to give one-on-one nutrition advice. WIC serves 400,000 participants each month with services provided at 400 clinics throughout the state. WIC is funded and monitored by the USDA. USDA has mandated that all states adopt eWIC technology by the year 2020.

"Our clients tell us they really like the eWIC technology, that it really simplifies their life," said Jose Tuma, WIC director at SBH Health System, one of eight providers of WIC services in the Bronx. "They like the ease of use of the card and the fact that they can use whatever benefits they have left over for the next time they shop for their family that month."

"Having owned and operated our CTown Supermarket for over 40 years, we were among the first in all of New York State to partner with the Women, Infants, and Children program as a vendor, when it first began in the 1970's," said Jose Perez, Owner of CTown Supermarket. "Today the evolution of this immensely important family benefit has far exceeded our expectations. Our participating eWIC customers, who have already been introduced to the new technology and system, have really taken to it."

Fathers, grandparents, foster parents and other caregivers may apply for WIC benefits for their infants and young children. Many working families qualify, and individuals who are already enrolled in Medicaid, SNAP or TANF automatically meet the income qualifications for WIC. To find a local clinic, applicants can call the Growing Up Healthy Hotline at 1-800-522-5006, visit the New York State Department of Health website at or use the WIC2Go mobile application. For more information on eWIC, families can visit and vendors can visit