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Leading the Way in WIC Efficiencies

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

March 01, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH LEADING THE WAY IN WIC EFFICIENCIES
~ Electronic system to improve access to healthy food for Florida's children ~

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health's (DOH) Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program is transitioning to an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system to serve Florida's families in need. WIC is a federally funded program that provides healthy food, nutrition education and counseling to needy families. As a result of this innovation, 500,000 of Florida's most vulnerable mothers and young children will have easier access to healthy food at more than 2,000 locations around the state.

Florida's WIC program transition to EBT is currently ahead of schedule. The official launch of the electronic program is scheduled to take place on July 1, 2013 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at a local WIC office and community grocery store in Miami.

"Our state's neediest children and families deserve access to healthy food. Electronic WIC benefits will help families make good food choices that connect to better health," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong.

"I am thrilled that implementation of WIC EBT is ahead of schedule," said Representative Jose Felix Diaz, who serves Florida's 116th House District. "Moving to an electronic system makes sense for the families and vendors using WIC. I would like to thank the Florida Department of Health for their tireless work in moving this portion of HB 1263 forward."

Florida is one of the largest states set for completion of the EBT project in 2013. The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 mandated each state agency to implement an EBT system by October 1, 2020. The requested $6.6 million in trust fund dollars will help implement an automated data and electronic benefit transfer card system that will tailor WIC benefits to the nutritional needs of each child and family.

To view the Florida Families First budget, please visit: www.floridafamiliesfirst.com.

DOH protects, promotes and improves the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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