The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday unanimously advanced a bill that, if passed, would allow leftover WIC funds to be rolled over to the next month. Currently, WIC participants are not permitted to carry forward unused benefit amounts into a subsequent month.
Also included in the bill is a provision allowing program participants to utilize their WIC electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to purchase WIC-eligible foods through the online platform of either a New Jersey WIC-authorized vendor or an authorized vendor whose retail presence in the State is primarily as an online retailer.
WIC participants could also use their WIC benefit to pay a delivery charge, levied by an authorized New Jersey WIC vendor, for homedelivery of a WIC-eligible foods purchase.
The bill directs the New Jersey Commissioner of Health to apply to the Food and Nutrition Service within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for any federal waivers or approvals needed to implement these changes to the New Jersey WIC program.
WIC is a federal program that provides nutritious foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals to pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding women, infants, and children aged five years and under, who are low income and at nutritional risk. The WIC program is administered at the federal level by the Food and Nutrition
Service within the USDA, but is administered at the State and local level. In New Jersey, the Department of Health administers the WIC program, in conjunction with WIC Local Agencies in all 21 counties.
The bill will now head to the Senate for a full floor vote and will need to be approved by the Assembly before Governor Murphy can sign it.