WIC prepares to transition into online operations

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Starting in 2021, WIC users will have a new way to shop. Mississippi WIC director Diane Hargrove explained how it works.

“When they get their WIC benefits, they’ll no longer get a paper voucher,” Hargrove said. “They will actually get an EBT card separate from SNAP, It’s their own WIC-EBT card and  they will then be able to go to WIC-authorized grocery stores and pharmacies.”

Because of the new program, 13 Mississippi food centers will be shutting down, but Hargrove said that this new option is much better for the users.

“They will have more choices, more variety of foods,” Hargrove said. “Plus, better access because one of the requirements to be WIC authorized, the grocery store has to be open six days a week, 12 hours a day.”

Hargrove added that the decision to close some of the centers will be financially viable because many of them were feeding three people per day max.

“That’s just really not a good utilization of federal dollars,” Hargrove said.

The centers that are closing will stay open through September 30. In the interim, the people who rely on these centers are encouraged to visit other locations.

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