COLUMBIA, S.C. — Monday, Sept. 9, marks the first day of completion of the rollout of eWIC, the electronic benefit transfer system for WIC participants.

Health clinics in Aiken, Barnwell, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Newberry, Richland, Saluda, and York counties will issue the eWIC cards that can be used to buy certain foods at WIC-approved grocery stores.

On Sept. 16, larger, commercial grocery stores -- including Bi-Lo, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Ingles, Kroger, Lowes Foods, Publix, Target, and Walmart -- will accept eWIC.

RELATED: E-cards to replace paper WIC vouchers

The cards act like regular bank debit or credit cards. Benefits will be loaded onto the eWIC card and participants will have a four-digit PIN to access the balance.

The eWIC transition is part of a federal mandate from the US Department of Agriculture directing all WIC state agencies to implement electronic systems by 2020. SC's Midlands counties are the first in the state to roll out eWIC. The Pee Dee region is scheduled for implementation next, followed by the Lowcountry and Upstate.

If you are a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent, or other legal guardians of a child under 5, you may be eligible for WIC. To find out, call 1-855-4-SCDHEC (1-855-472-3432) to schedule an appointment.

Learn more about WIC and eWIC at www.scdhec.gov/ewic.