HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will be closing all of its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food distribution sites throughout the state in the months ahead.
The 81 sites will be closing by late summer and early fall. Approximately 70 positions will be eliminated with the closure. Currently, 85,000 Mississippians are enrolled in the WIC program.
The change comes as WIC clients throughout the United States are being transferred to the use of electronic banking and a debit card for food purchases due to a federal mandate. The process has also started in Mississippi. The distribution center closed in Hattiesburg as of March 31.
Leaders said the eWIC card will be more convenient for clients as they will have a choice of where to purchase food and infant formula. The eWIC phased rollout will take place over the next few months. For now, clients will have paper vouchers to take to the existing food centers for WIC food.