The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Nutrition Services have launched the EBTShopper free mobile phone app for state residents enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program.

The agency says the app, developed by Wheat Ridge, Colo.-based point-of-sale technology vendor JPMA, offers improvements to the WIC shopping experience, benefiting participants, retail vendors, and cashiers.

“The EBTShopper mobile app enables WIC participants to verify the eligibility of food items while shopping,” said Letitia Tierney, M.D., commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health. “In West Virginia, the app has the ability to load the participant’s current WIC benefits, allowing them to know with certainty what they can purchase with the benefits remaining on their eWIC card.”

The mission for EBTShopper is to use technology and innovation to ensure WIC benefits are easy to use, and to promote healthy food choices during grocery shopping. In addition to West Virginia, the app is currently supported in Florida, Kentucky, Texas, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

"JPMA has been involved in WIC since its migration toward an electronic format in 2004," company executives said. "It was apparent to us from the onset that the shopping experience for WIC participants is not only complex, but is often embarrassing and degrading. By providing WIC participants with an easy means of verifying that the products they purchase are WIC eligible, retailers can help streamline the checkout process and provide a better shopping experience for the shopper."

Food available through WIC includes fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, dried or canned beans, peanut butter, eggs, certain breakfast cereals, infant foods, and whole wheat bread.

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