In Meridian, families benefitting from the WIC program, will soon be able to shop at grocery stores and pharmacies instead of the distribution centers.
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, WIC Distribution Centers in Mississippi will eventually be closing within the next year.
Mandated by the USDA, WIC in Mississippi will be on an electronic benefits transfer card, also known as an EBT card.
This will eliminate program food vouchers and allow WIC recipients to shop at WIC Authorized stores
“I have WIC myself actually, it helps us a lot, we get a lot of good things, milk, cereals, for the kids, it helps me tremendously”, said Shelby Sullivan.
Sullivan feels the EBT card will help.
“I think it will, because they’re always closed when I go and it takes forever in those stores”, said Sullivan.
Saying that it will be more convenient for her and other mothers who are unable to make it to the distribution center by close.
“The hours and having the convenience to go when they need to, to the grocery store, when they need to on the spot, instead of having to wait on other people to do it for them”, said Sullivan.
The EBT cards will help recipients by giving them more access to fresh foods and more variety than they have at the distribution centers.
“Both my mother and I have had like, health issues to where we have to eat a certain way and to, we’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to have food like that, go to whole foods in Jackson and stuff like that and anything that could help people get on the right diet, because that’s where a lot of health issues come from, I think is an amazing thing”, said Hannah Whatley, Meridian Resident.
The dates on the distribution warehouse closing are not set in stone, but they plan to have the changes made by 2021.