JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Health says the state will be closing all 81 of its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food distribution sites.
The state health department says the food distribution sites will be permanently closed by late summer and early fall. The state says there are currently 85,000 Mississippi residents enrolled in the WIC program, and approximately 70 positions will be eliminated by the closings.
State officials say a federal mandate has caused many states to transfer WIC clients to electronic banking and a debit card for food purchases. Officials say Mississippi has started that process and will begin a phased rollout of an “eWIC” card for WIC clients.
The state health departments claims the “eWIC” card will be “more convenient for clients, who will have a choice of where to purchase food and infant formula.”
In addition to “eWIC” cards, the state will reportedly also be expanding the list of products clients can purchase.