Through the Mississippi State Department of Health, electronic benefit cards are now available statewide for participants of the ‘Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)’.
The MSDH stated that the eWIC cards work like a debit card and will be accepted at 275 authorized locations, including 160 grocery stores, 103 grocery stores with pharmacies, and 12 independent pharmacies across Mississippi.
“This is a dramatic increase in access from the 95 WIC food distribution centers we were operating. This change gives our clients more variety of food options and more flexibility in when and where they shop,” Diane W. Hargrove, Director of the WIC program, said.
A news release went on to explain that because WIC’s emphasis is on healthy eating for mothers, infants and children, eWIC cards can be used to buy milk, cereal, yogurt, juice, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, beans, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat and corn tortillas, fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, baby formula and baby food. Each participant has a unique food package and may not be eligible to get all food items.
WIC is a supplemental food program for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, infants, and children under 5. The program helps mothers and babies get healthy foods and healthy advice in the first years of life.
Each eWIC card will have a unique account number. WIC will use that number to send benefits to the account each month. Any WIC benefits that are not used during the monthly cycle do not roll over. WIC will reload the card when the next benefit period begins.
For additional information about WIC and an updated list of authorized vendors, please check our website at www.HealthyMS.com/WIC, or call (601) 991-6000 or toll-free 1-800-545-6747.