WIC's fruit and vegetable boost
The renewed focus on healthful eating has come just at the time when many Americans have less money to spend on good food. But women participating in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program will soon get a 25 percent boost in the value of their monthly fruit and vegetable vouchers.
Over the next five years, the additional benefits will total $250 million.
WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers were first made available last year in answer to health and nutrition recommendations from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. The vouchers can be applied to purchases of most fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits and vegetables, except white potatoes. Previously, the program provided vouchers for milk, eggs, cereal, juice, cheese, peanut butter and dried beans or peas.
Women enrolled in the program will now receive $10 in fruit and vegetable vouchers per month. Before the increase, most of the women received $8, although those who were breastfeeding received $10 vouchers. (The children's amount of $6 per month for fruits and vegetables has not changed.)
Congress allocated new funds in the recent Agriculture Appropriations bill passed in October. Department of Agriculture officials fast-tracked the release of new regulations to guide the implementation of the new money by the states. The money is available immediately; states have until April 30 to begin distributing funds.
"The WIC folks really wanted this change," said Geraldine Henchy, a policy analyst at the Food Research and Action Center, an anti-hunger organization in Washington. "This is record time for a regulation."
California, Texas, Florida, New York and Georgia are expected to dole out the largest number of checks, Henchy estimates. The District will receive $107,000, Maryland will receive $778,000 and Virginia will get $916,000.
-- Jane Black
Posted by: web_user | January 8, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: corco02az | January 8, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: web_user | January 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: beatriceadporter-gruel | January 8, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tenorlove | January 8, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.