Project: An Examination of WIC Participant Redemption Patterns in Kentucky Prior to and After Implementation of Electronic Benefits Transfer
Award Year: 2011
Amount of award, fiscal 2011: $176,000.00
Institution: Altarum Institute
Principal Investigator: Loren Bell
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: This study will compare participant use food assistance benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) before and after Kentucky’s transition to the electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system. The study will use data collected in 2011-2012. WIC EBT will replace the use of agency-issued vouchers to pay for authorized foods. This natural experiment will provide, for the first time, an examination of changes in WIC participant redemption patterns that might be directly associated with the use of WIC EBT implementation in Kentucky. Data will be obtained from State voucher redemptions (dollar amounts) by voucher type and store. Additional information about the acceptance of EBT will be gathered from focus groups of participants, and interviews with WIC program staff and authorized store managers. WIC post-EBT redemptions will be collected from two additional States to compare their results with Kentucky. Analysis will include rates of full voucher redemption both pre- and post-EBT implementation; and will consider variance by demographic characteristics of clients, such as race/ethnicity, age, and family size (where multiple benefits are on one EBT card), along with store demographics such as location and the assignment to peer groups.
Topic: Program Operations, WIC