Funds Provided for State WIC EBT Implementation
On July 9, 2014, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded nearly $34 million in fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding to 19 states, the District of Columbia, and tribal organizations to support technology improvements in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Most of the funding will be used to implement electronic benefits transfer (EBT) systems, which give beneficiaries greater flexibility in determining when and how to spend their benefits. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296) requires all state WIC agencies to fully implement EBT technology by October 1, 2020. This Issue Brief provides background on the EBT upgrade, funding provided to states to implement new systems, and state progress on meeting the new requirements.