Indiana’s WIC program launches app

Screenshots from the state of Indiana's new WIC app are shown.

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) If you receive benefits through Indiana’s Women, Infants and Children program, things are about to get a lot easier for you, starting Monday.

Indiana’s Department of Health is launching a new app designed to help you.

Andrea Helms said she works hard by herself, to care for her daughter and 2-month-old son. But, it’s hard to make ends meet.

“It’s tight. The budget’s tight,” Helms said earnestly. “I live off a fixed income, get paid once a month. The budget’s tight, but I make it work.”

That’s why she’s one of 145,000 Hoosiers who get monthly food benefits from the state’s FOOD program for women and children.

“Basically, WIC covers almost all of our needs, especially for Jesus’ milk,” Helms said as she held her infant son.

She said often, when she’s grocery shopping, things can get a little confusing about what foods are WIC approved.

“Or I have to ask the lady at the checkout, or I have to stop and call my card, and enter my card number and wait to hear all the prompt,” Helms said.

Starting Monday, the Indiana Department of Health will launch its new smartphone app. It will allow users to scan food barcodes at the stores and instantly see what’s approved.

It’s all part of a $1.2 million federal grant, and WIC Director Eldon Whetstone says this is a first in the Midwest.

Eldon Whetstone, WIC’s Executive Director, explained, “It puts the power of WIC in the clients hands. They can tell exactly what they have left on their card for that month, where they can use it, and what items they can purchase.”

“That would be great!” Helms explained. “To be able to have that app and check that out before you go to the store.”

Helms said this app will save her time and money.

WIC’s Direcor, Whetstone, said you can download the app now, in the Apple and Google Play Stores. He said the department is staggering roll-out across the state, a handful of counties at a time.

He also said look for a text message from WIC between now and Thursday for your area.

The whole state should be able to use it by the end of this week.

For more information, or to apply for WIC services, call 1-800-522-0874, email inwic@isdh.in.gov or click HERE.