STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Mississippi to close 13 food centers for low-income mothers

MGN Online

Mississippi is closing 13 food centers across the state that serve low-income mothers and children.

Posted: Aug 17, 2020 1:38 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is closing 13 food centers across the state that serve low-income mothers and children as it prepares to start a new program early next year that will allow participants to use electronic cards to access supplies at grocery stores and pharmacies instead.

In the meantime, participants will still have access to benefits at centers elsewhere in the state. There are at least 80 food centers in Mississippi, the Commercial Dispatch reported.

Mississippi is one of the only states in the country that uses a warehouse distribution system and paper vouchers to distribute benefits to participants in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

The state announced intentions to switch to electronic benefits transfer cards late last year, and that process will begin in January 2021 at the earliest. The eWIC card system will be easier to use and allow participants to access food at convenient locations, like stores, instead of having to pick up at warehouses, officials said.

Twelve centers are scheduled to close Sept. 30. They are in Rosedale, Ruleville, Okolona, Ackerman, Hollandale, Leland, Raymond, DeKalb, Raleigh, Eupora, Columbus and Southaven. Participants will have until Aug. 28 to pick up food there. A center in New Albany will close Dec. 31, and participants will have until Nov. 25 for final pick-ups.

While the 13 centers are closed, the Department of Health is working to ensure participants have an available food center within 30 miles of each WIC clinic, officials said in a news release last week.

“We know this will be a challenge for some of our participants and we are doing everything that we can to supply them nutritious foods the best way that we can during this transition,” said Jameshyia Ballard, WIC vendor director.

The 13 food centers that are closing in the coming months were either not being heavily used, or the warehouse’s landlords' chose not to extend the lease, officials said.

WIC provides “nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care” to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to age 5 who are considered to be at nutritional risk, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

WIC foods include “infant cereal, iron-fortified adult cereal, vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, dried and canned beans/peas, and canned fish.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19515228
Hinds18611385
Harrison16431275
Rankin12543261
Jackson12419216
Lee9641160
Madison9378194
Jones7857145
Forrest7094136
Lauderdale6760225
Lowndes5998137
Lamar581180
Lafayette5698113
Washington5135128
Bolivar4580120
Oktibbeha438691
Panola424992
Warren4101113
Pearl River4083128
Pontotoc406668
Marshall398392
Monroe3977126
Union392173
Neshoba3758166
Lincoln3447100
Hancock338673
Leflore3349118
Sunflower316685
Tate299874
Pike298293
Scott291867
Alcorn289660
Itawamba288571
Yazoo283262
Tippah275465
Copiah273957
Coahoma272666
Simpson270778
Prentiss267658
Leake251370
Wayne250540
Marion249878
Covington247178
Grenada244676
Adams232877
George229845
Newton223151
Winston220274
Tishomingo211465
Jasper211244
Attala205969
Chickasaw200550
Holmes181470
Clay177848
Stone171129
Tallahatchie169239
Clarke168271
Calhoun155527
Smith151531
Yalobusha142236
Greene126533
Walthall123340
Noxubee122629
Perry120934
Montgomery120537
Lawrence119021
Carroll117223
Amite110732
Webster109229
Jefferson Davis99931
Tunica98023
Claiborne97329
Benton92524
Humphreys91326
Kemper89422
Quitman76614
Franklin75419
Choctaw69416
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61027
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 57°
Columbus
Mostly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 59°
Oxford
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Starkville
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 59°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather