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WIC Program in El Paso offers 'split tender' transaction

Participants in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program are able to use two forms of payment in order to purchase items approved under the program, announced El Paso city officials Wednesday.

The more than 75 approved local food vendors that accept the WIC program electronic benefit transactions (EBT) card are able to do a “split tender” transaction, according to a new release from the City of El Paso.

For instance, if a WIC participant is seeking to purchase $12 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, but only has $8 worth of benefits available in their EBT card, the store now has a mechanism in place to accept the additional $4, in either Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or cash to make up the difference.

“This system makes the point of sale transaction easier for our participants and also allows them to use up all the food benefits the WIC program provides,” said Bertha Amaya, WIC patient services coordinator. “In the past it would be difficult, if not nearly impossible, for a client to reach a balance of zero dollars and zero cents in their account. That is no longer the case.”

Officials also said participants will no longer need to put back an item if the participant goes over their EBT balance.

Those interested in participating in the program can contact the Department of Public Health WIC Program by calling 915-212-4942 to set up an appointment and further information. WIC Provides services to children up to age 5 and is an equal opportunity provider.

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