Warren and Barren Counties have been awarded more than $2 million for a pilot program to test the effectiveness of the WIC program.
The supplemental food program for women, infants and children will also get an electronic upgrade.
The hope is to ensure confidentiality, remove a margin of cashier error and allow participants to shop as often as they wish.
As of right now the participants receive three checks a month with a list of the items they can buy.
"On the current check, I mean it's clearly a WIC check. It says Kentucky WIC on it, lists the foods that they can get," said Peggy Burcham, the WIC Coordinator for the Barren River District Health Department.
When the new program begins, WIC participants won't have to carry around checks anymore. They'll simply swipe their card and enter a pin.
To view a current WIC check click here.
"So instead of them having nine checks they have to deal with at the store, cashing each one separately, the card will be for the whole families benefit," Burcham said.
Right now families and cashiers have to separate the WIC from
non-WIC items. The new card will electronically separate the groceries.
The cashiers also won't have to "police" the items and make sure their on your list.
"We'll know what foods they're getting and we'll know that WIC money is going to pay for the nutritious foods that it's supposed to," Burcham said.
Also if the card is lost or stolen, the participant won't have to worry about someone else using it.
"We can do an immediate on-line stoppage of those benefits and they can not be used by someone who is not authorized," Burcham said.
Those with the Barren River District Health Department hope the program will be ready to go in September 2007.