WXXI AM News

New food subsidy cards accepted at Wegmans

Nov 28, 2018

Wegmans has become the latest grocery store in New York to accept a new way to pay for food.

The grocery chain now accepts eWIC, a government assistance program designed to give women, infants and children the money they need to purchase staple foods.

Previously, the WIC program had required users to match specific paper checks with specific foods and buy all of the eligible items at once. The state health department recognized that was inconvenient, and some WIC participants found the program embarrassing.

Director for the Office of Public Health Loretta Santilli unveiled eWIC at Wegmans in Buffalo on Wednesday.
Credit Ryan Zunner / WBFO News

The new eWIC system works like a debit card. The state health department instructs people using the cards to group their WIC purchases at the front of their items when they check out.

Wegmans spokesperson Jo Natale said the new cards make buying groceries a lot smoother.

“After you’re done shopping – especially if you’re shopping with young children, which is true for many moms – you want to be able to check out with ease,” Natale said. “This will allow that. It just streamlines the whole process, makes it much easier for the shopper.”

The state health department said eWIC is rolling out across New York, slated to reach all parts of the state by the end of 2019.