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Iowa Low-income Food Program Gets Federal Grant

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    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa agency that oversees the federal Women, Infants, and Children food program has been awarded a $5.3 million grant to convert from delivering paper checks to participants to providing electronic money transfers with plastic cards similar to debit cards.

    The Iowa Department of Public Health says in a statement Friday it has received the grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The money is to be used within two years to hire a contractor to set up the system.

    The program provides money for purchase of supplemental food at approved local grocery stores for low-income nutritionally at-risk women, infants, and children. It also provides nutrition education and counseling.

    The Iowa program served more than 69,000 participants each month last year.