WASHINGTON – Families dependent on Women, Toddlers and Children (WIC) benefits can use it to shop online and place pickup or delivery orders at Walmart’s 58 Washington locations, the retailer announced on Friday.
Walmart is working with the US Department of Agriculture and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition on the pilot, which will initially only include stores in Washington and Massachusetts.
Officials estimate the program will apply to 120,000 WIC attendees in Washington, and the Gretchen Swanson Center will investigate its implementation and usefulness in the future.
“WIC has demonstrated effectiveness on several health outcomes, including nutritional quality,” said Amy Yaroch, the center’s executive director. “Nevertheless, when shopping with WIC advantages, the participants are confronted with known problems of access and equal opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only strengthened and tightened these barriers. Households participating in the WIC should be able to purchase groceries, especially those that need to be addressed. “Critical nutritional needs, like everyone else buys groceries by ordering online.”
The pilot, which is slated to run through July 2023, is intended to serve as a blueprint for other states and retailers to expand online ordering with WIC benefits.