Commissary WIC in Asia Expands to Off-Base


If you are a user of the commissary WIC program in Asia, you may have noticed recently that when it comes to using your benefits on eggs, well ... you can't. But now officials have a solution.

Eggs packed in a carton.  (Flickr user Janine/Creative Commons http://bit.ly/1ELutro)

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is having trouble keeping eggs on shelves in that region. An on-going ban on imported U.S. poultry products thanks to bird flu worries from officials in Japan and Korea has meant very low supplies of many products -- including chicken eggs. The commissary generally imports those eggs from the U.S. thanks to stringent U.S. food safety guidelines their stores must meet.

No imports? No eggs. And while officials have found some local sources for those products, they aren't able to keep up with demand. And sure, you can shop for your poultry off base. But , unlike stateside, those Women and Infant Children (WIC) benefits are only good at the commissary and NEXMARTs. ...

Until now.

Officials announced Feb. 5 that commissary WIC Overseas can be used for now to buy eggs off-base.

That means that even if stores on base are out of eggs, your benefit won't go to waste.

"The WIC Overseas office has notified DeCA that WIC families can temporarily purchase locally-sourced eggs in Korea, Japan and Okinawa with WIC Overseas checks," the agency announced on their Facebook page. "The temporary approval will be in effect until adequate stock levels of U.S. eggs become available in local commissaries."

The WIC Overseas program, administered by Tricare (of all things -- surprised me, too) helps subsidize the higher cost of overseas living for many families by allowing more people to use it than use the stateside program. Unfortunately the standards for that don't appear to be available online. Stateside families qualify for WIC if they are at or above 185 percent of the poverty line.

Do you use WIC overseas? Does this temporary change help you?


Image courtesy Flickr user Janine under Creative Commons license.

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