More fruit and vegetable access approved for WIC food package

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More fruit and vegetable access approved for WIC food package

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as the WIC food package, has been revised and updated by the USDA to align with the latest nutrition science, providing more variety, more choice, and more flexibility for participants, including support for people who are breastfeeding.

WIC food packages provide supplemental foods designed to address the specific nutritional needs of income-eligible pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum individuals, infants, and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk.

The new changes to the program are designed to provide nutritional support and improve the health of WIC participants, while also accommodating special dietary needs and personal and cultural food preferences.

The improvements will support fruit and vegetable consumption “by increasing the amount provided and the varieties available for purchase. FNS has made permanent a significant boost to the fruit and vegetable benefit provided to WIC participants, providing participants with up to four times the amount they would otherwise receive.”

Approved revisions increased the cash value benefit for fruits and vegetables for children from $9 to $24. 

The current regulatory amount for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding people was $11. Final revisions pushed the value up to $43 for pregnant and postpartum participants and to $47 for breastfeeding participants.

“For the 6.6 million moms, babies, and young children who participate in WIC – and the millions more eligible to participate – these improvements to our food packages have the potential to make positive, life-long impacts on health and well-being,” said Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long.

Visit the FNS WIC Food Packages page to access the final rule, answers to common questions, and other information.

Related article: IFPA welcomes USDA’s updates to WIC nutrition program

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