When participants of the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program go grocery shopping, they can run into an awkward situation. They may put something into their wagons, thinking it was eligible under the program, only to find out at the register that it isn't.
The WIC Shopper app is designed to help shoppers avoid situations like this. It connects participants of the federally-funded program with a database of eligible items. After setting the app up, all they need to do is scan products to verify that they are eligible for purchase.
"It's not fun to take a food up that you think you can get with WIC and have them say, 'no, this isn't WIC," said Sarah Griswold, the WIC Nutrition Program Manager for Knox County. "That's kind of embarrassing, we know it's not fun. So, we want to make sure that our participants are confident that they can get this food with WIC and they can scan the food and say, 'Yep, I can get this.'"
Once participants download the app, they need to select Tennessee as their WIC agency. Then, they can register for the app using the 16-digit number on their TNWIC cards.
The app also allows participants to view their remaining balance, their food lists and find recipes they can prepare using food purchased through the program.
Officials said more than 8,000 people participate in WIC in Knox County, and that Tennessee has more than 110,000 participants.